The Department of Foreign Affairs said that the Philippine government may consider to stop setting up more shelters for Filipinos in Kuwait if the number of those fleeing their employers will be decreased.
“It’s non-negotiable in a sense that we have to operate them because there are runaways. What is negotiable is, definitely, not to put up more because we don’t want to see shelters sprouting,” DFA Undersecretary Ed De Vega said in an ABS-CBN interview.
“But for us not to put up more, we have to have less runaways,” the DFA official added.
De Vega said that around 500 OFWs are taking shelter at the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait. There are at least one distressed OFW out of 400 OFWs in Kuwait.
Some 600 distressed OFWs have been repatriated recently.
“It is a positive development because those 600 or so, including 353 who flew just this weekend from Kuwait, had been waiting for months and months and that was an issue between the Philippines and Kuwait — why are we sheltering so many workers, instead of allowing them or using the Kuwaiti system? It showed that Kuwait is capable of and willing to issue exit permits,” he said.
Kuwait has imposed a ban on Filipinos entering Kuwait for the first time due to the alleged violations of the Philippine government of the bilateral labor agreement.