Duterte: OFW ban to Kuwait permanent:
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President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, in his speech upon his arrival at the Francisco Bangoy International Airport in Davao City at dawn of April 29, 2018, the he and other heads of states from Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member countries should uphold and honor the time-honored principles of sovereign equality and non-interference in internal affairs. JOEY DALUMPINES/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO DAVAO CITY — A diplomatic row between the Philippines and Kuwait turned for the worse on Sunday after President Rodrigo Duterte scrapped a deal on the humane treatment of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and declared the temporary ban on their deployment to the oil-rich Gulf state permanent. Mr. Duterte temporarily banned the deployment of new workers to the Gulf state in February following the murder of housemaid Joanna Demafelis, whose body was found inside a freezer in a Kuwait City apartment that was abandoned by her Arab employer. The crisis deepened last week after Kuwaiti authorities ordered the expulsion of Philippine Ambassador Renato Pedro Villa over a Philippine Embassy mission to rescue maltreated maids, which Kuwait considered a violation of its sovereignty. ADVERTISEMENT The Philippines had apologized over the rescue mission but apparently that was not enough to appease Kuwait. Kuwait also recalled its ambassador to the Philippines, Musaed Ahmad Saleh Althwaikh, for consultations. The two nations had been negotiating a deal on the regulation of working conditions of OFWs in Kuwait that Philippine officials said could lead to the lifting of the deployment ban. But last week’s escalation of tensions had put the agreement in doubt. On Sunday, Mr. Duterte said the Philippines would no longer pursue the deal and the deployment ban would be made permanent. “The ban stays permanently. There will be no more recruitment especially of domestic helpers. No more,” Mr. Duterte told reporters in Davao City after returning from Singapore, where he attended the 32nd Leaders’ Summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean). Around 262,000 Filipinos work in Kuwait, nearly 60 percent of them as domestic helpers, according to the Department of Labor and Employment. On Saturday, Mr. Duterte described the treatment of Filipinos in Kuwait as a “calamity.” ADVERTISEMENT He said he would bring home the maids who suffered abuse in Kuwait and called on the other OFWs who wanted to stay there to come home, appealing to their sense of patriotism. “I would like to address to their patriotism: Come home. No matter how poor we are, we will survive. The economy is doing good and we are short of our workers,” he said. Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, however, still planned to travel to Kuwait to assess the situation. “We intend to make an assessment of the situation there and will try to talk to my counterpart and see how we can [solve] the problem,” Bello told reporters in Sing
Video credits to Haiso jaiwod YouTube channel