OFWs stranded Manila Philippines
There are around 225,625 Filipinos working in Kuwait, including 162,041 domestic helpers. Illustrative image. Image Credit: Bloomberg

Cairo: Kuwait has halted the issuance of work and entry visas for Filipinos in reaction for Philippine authorities’ failure to comply with a labour agreement earlier reached between the two countries.

Kuwait’s First Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Talaal Al Khalid has issued a circular halting the issuance of all entry and labour visas for Filipino workers.

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The step comes in response to the Philippine side’s non-compliance with implementing provisions of the labour agreement between the two countries, officials quoted as saying.

“The First Deputy Premier’s directives in his capacity of being the supervisor-general of the Public Authority of Manpower, come as a result of Manila’s violation of the agreement provisions,” they added.

The decision aims to “impose the state sovereignty and apply law to everyone”.

Resumption of the visa issuance, they said, hinges on the Philippine side’s commitment to implementing the pact.

There are around 225,625 Filipinos working in Kuwait, including 162,041 domestic helpers, making them among the top migrant workers in the country, according to recent official figures.

In May 2018, Kuwait and the Philippines signed an agreement on employment regulations, ending a standoff.

Earlier this year, the Philippines temporarily halted the recruitment of domestic workers for employment in Kuwait after the killing of a 35-year-old Filipina domestic worker by a Kuwaiti teenager.

The incident prompted the Philippines government to suspend the accreditation of Kuwait’s foreign recruitment agencies.