News Release

Gov’t to extend aid to OFWs affected by Kuwait work visa suspension

The Philippine government has assured assistance to the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) affected by the Kuwaiti government’s suspension of work visas, an official of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Saturday.

DFA Assistant Secretary Paul Cortes said the affected OFWs would be included in the National Reintegration Program of the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW), among other forms of assistance.

“Para mabigyan sila ng tulong at ayuda considering alam nila kung ano iyong mga pinagdaanan at alam nila what they had to give up just to the flight to Kuwait,” Cortes said in a media forum in Quezon City.

Reports said the government of Kuwait has suspended the issuance of new entry visas for Filipinos into the Middle Eastern country.

“Well, yesterday (Friday) nagpadala na sila (Kuwait) ng official note na suspended nga ang new visas,” Cortes confirmed.

“We were told na it is only for those na bago – meaning kung wala kang resident visa o iyong tinatawag nilang ‘iqama’… hindi ka pwede pumasok. Pero kung babalik ka ng Kuwait dahil doon ka naman na nagtatrabaho at—iyon nga, have been living there, working there, pwede ka namang pumasok,” Cortes pointed out.

Meanwhile, a delegation of officials from the DFA and DMW will travel to Kuwait this month as part of the ongoing discussions between the Philippines and Kuwait to tackle labor concerns and issues.

“Palagi naman may discussions ang Kuwait and Philippines very often, in fact itong month of May talagang pupunta iyong delegation natin doon to discuss among others labor concerns. Nagkataon lang na may ganitong klaseng mainit na isyu pero meron at mayroon pupuntang DFA delegation kasama rin ang mga DMW nating colleagues na pupunta doon to discuss itong mga challenges na ito,” Cortes said.

“It’s a constant communication forum that we have instituted – not only with Kuwait but all the others to make sure na we’re always on track as far as protection and promotion of the well-being of our migrants are concerned,” he said.

The OFWs who were recently rescued by the Philippine government from Sudan received livelihood support and assistance, including US$200, care of the DMW.

American business firms have expressed interest in employing the displaced OFWs. There are employers in the US and also in the cruise ship industry and in Saudi Arabia that are interested and would like to see the profiles of Filipino workers rescued from Sudan. (PND)