Press Release
April 29, 2018


Concerned about the plight of the overseas Filipino workers in Kuwait, Senator Richard J. Gordon has expressed hopes that the dispute between the Philippines and the said Gulf country would be resolved soon.

Gordon said the Kuwaiti government's recent move to order the Philippine ambassador to leave the country in a week's time and subsequently recalling their ambassador to the Philippines have placed the OFWs in Kuwait in a precarious situation.

"Dapat maayos agad yan dahil walang ambassador doon at wala din silang ambassador dito, walang ugnayan kaya mas delikado ang position ng mga household services workers natin na nandoon," he added.

Gordon is also hopeful that the Kuwaiti government would look into the longer relationship between the two countries and will understand that this is part of the Filipino culture of trying to save their people from further harm although what they did was irregular. He recalled that when Iraq attacked Kuwait, the Philippines was the first country to support Kuwait.

"We have to ensure that our ties with Kuwait will be maintained which is why it is important for the Philippine side that the Kuwait incident is contained and limited to this single incident. We have had good relations with Kuwait whom the Philippines fully supported when it was invaded by Iraq under Sadam Hussein. This incident should not affect other aspects of our relations with Kuwait such as economic aspects and oil supply. It should also not be allowed to affect the country's image and relations with other Arab countries," he said.

The senator agreed that the objectives and basis of the actions taken by the Philippine representatives in Kuwait were based on one of the three pillars of Philippine foreign policy, namely, the protection and welfare of our overseas workers. The Constitution mandates that the State "shall afford full protection to labor, local and overseas, organized and unorganized, and promote full employment and equality of employment opportunities for all."

But, he added, the manner in which the actions were conducted, should be re-examined and improved taking into consideration the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.

Gordon pointed out, however, that should Kuwait show that they have no intention of ensuring the protection of our OFWs, perhaps it is time that for the Philippine government to look for other host countries for our OFWs where they would be given adequate protection and better treatment.

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