"I will not allow leftovers to be eaten by my countrymen." - Pres. Duterte regarding the Kuwait OFW crisis

President Rodrigo Duterte, in a speech before the PNP Academy Class of 2018 in Silang, Cavite, disclosed the list of his demands for the protection of OFWs in Kuwait and Gulf States.
The President came late to the ceremony as he finalizes the draft of the Memorandum of Agreement concerning a bilateral deal for OFW’s welfare.
President Duterte said: "I was late because we were working on the final draft that will be brought to Kuwait by Secretary Bello and I added some requirements. For example, I demanded that it will be a contract of government to government and that there will be some mandatory provisions like they should be allowed to sleep at least seven hours a day,"

Apart from the allotted ‘sleeping hours’ in the provision, the President said OFWs should be fed with nutritious food and not just leftovers with a privilege to cook on their own.

He also would no longer allow the accustomed tradition of Kuwaiti employers to confiscate the passports especially those that are working as Domestic Helpers.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III is tasked to submit the final draft of the Memorandum for its arranged signing on April first week. The draft also included a provision that demands a net pay not lower than $400 through bank transaction and the right to own and keep mobile phones and communication devices, among others.

President Duterte saw the need to create a bilateral agreement to the Arab nation after imposing a total working ban in Kuwait following a bloody incident involving an OFW named Joanna Demafelis whose lifeless body was found inside a freezer last February.

With intent of goodwill, the President did not mean to offend anybody with his demands, he only wants the OFWs to have fair treatment from other countries and obtain sensible rights.

“Eh nagmamadali sila. I do not mean to offend…all for employing Filipinos abroad. I have said that we are not slaves, maybe our only fault would be, (we are) in your country because mahirap lang kami,” Duterte said.

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