Philippines’ Duterte to visit Kuwait after worker row

Philippines’ Duterte to visit Kuwait after worker row
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte addresses an event with Filipino community in Hong Kong, China April 12, 2018. (Reuters)
Updated 12 April 2018

Philippines’ Duterte to visit Kuwait after worker row

Philippines’ Duterte to visit Kuwait after worker row
  • Duterte's announcement is a sign that tensions are easing after a diplomatic row over the alleged mistreatment of Filipino workers in Kuwait.
  • A Kuwaiti criminal court sentenced a Lebanese man and his Syrian wife to death by hanging for killing their Filipino maid on April 1, 2018.  

Hong Kong: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said Thursday he would visit Kuwait to seal a labor deal, in a sign of easing tensions after a diplomatic row over the alleged mistreatment of Filipino workers in the Gulf state.
Duterte had lashed out at Kuwait in February, imposing a departure ban on Filipinos planning to work there after the murder of a Filipino maid, whose body was found in a freezer.
The Philippine president said Thursday that Kuwait had agreed to his demands to improve the working conditions for Filipinos, following negotiations between the two countries on an accord.
“To give honor also to the Kuwaiti government, I will go there for the signing (ceremony) just to witness it,” Duterte said in a speech during a visit to Hong Kong.
He did not say when he will travel to Kuwait.
Authorities in Manila say around 252,000 Filipinos work in the Gulf state, many as maids. They are among over two million Filipinos employed in the region, whose remittances are a lifeline to the Philippine economy.
Duterte’s departure ban sparked a diplomatic flap. He alleged that Arab employers routinely raped their Filipino workers, forced them to work 21 hours a day and fed them scraps.
One of his demands is that Filipino workers be allowed to keep their cellphones and passports, which can be confiscated by employers under current conditions.