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Statement of Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter S. Cayetano on the Signing of the Memorandum of Agreement Between the Philippines and Kuwait

 

KUWAIT 11 May 2018 — Almost two weeks ago, in Singapore, we conveyed our commitment to work with our counterparts in Kuwait to achieve our shared goal of strengthening our bilateral ties based on what we hope would be a common desire to ensure the well-being of our kababayans there.

We also said there that if we reach an understanding on the direction we both want to go, the relations between the Philippines and Kuwait would become stronger than ever.

Today, we succeeded in doing just that. A few minutes ago, we brought the relationship between our two countries to a higher level with the formal signing of the Agreement between the Philippines and Kuwait on the Employment of Household Service Workers.

With the signing of the agreement and the approval of the additional guarantees that we asked our Kuwaiti friends to extend, the more than 250,000 Filipinos in Kuwait can now be assured of prompt and effective assistance if needed.

The successful outcome of our engagement with Kuwait would not have been possible without the guidance of the President who made it clear since the start that in our negotiations, the well-being of Filipinos abroad should always be paramount.

It was the President who actually charted the course that the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Department of Labor and Employment, and the Office of the President took in addressing the concerns of our nationals in Kuwait.

We are also grateful for the patience and kind understanding of our counterparts from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs and the Ministry of Interior of the State of Kuwait. We thank them for their willingness to work with us to achieve our shared goals.

We also thank Secretary Silvestre Bello III and his team from the Department of Labor and Employment, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration and the Philippines Overseas Labor Office in Kuwait; Special Envoy Abdullah Mama-o and Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque for the important role they played in ensuring the success of our collective efforts.

We also thank colleagues in the Department of Foreign Affairs, particularly Ambassador Renato Villa and Consul General Noordin Lomondot, for helping set the stage for a successful outcome of these negotiations and the rest of the men and women of the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait and in the Home Office in Manila.

Lastly, we thank our more than 10 million Filipinos overseas, especially those in Kuwait—our new heroes or bagong bayani—who are the ones our government has vowed to protect and whose well-being we will continue to promote. END