Presidential Adviser on Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) Concerns Secretary Abdullah D. Mama-o and Philippine Embassy in Kuwait Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. and Consul General Mohd. Noordin Pendosina N. Lomondot met with top officials of Kuwait’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 19 January 2020, to discuss pressing issues concerning the welfare and well-being of the more than 230,000 Filipinos in Kuwait.
Accompanied by Chargé d’Affaires Lomondot and Undersecretary Edwin D. Bael of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on OFW Concerns, Secretary Mama-o met with Kuwaiti Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Khaled Al-Jarallah to echo the message of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to the Kuwaiti government, to ensure the safety and welfare of OFW in Kuwait amid the current situation in the Middle East.
The Filipino Cabinet official also explained to the Kuwait Foreign Ministry’s second-in-command the recent decision of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) Governing Board to ban the deployment of OFWs to Kuwait.
On the killing of Filipina domestic worker Jeanelyn Padernal Villavende, Secretary Mama-o expressed his appreciation to the Kuwaiti government for the actions that it has undertaken to bring to justice the suspects in the case, including the immediate arrest of OFW Villavende’s employers.
To show Kuwait’s commitment in the case, Deputy Foreign Minister Al-Jarallah said that his government is willing to allow investigators from the Philippines to join the investigation in Kuwait of the murder of OFW Villavende.
Both the Philippine and Kuwaiti sides expressed hope that issues concerning the rights and protection for the more than 150,000 Filipino domestic workers in Kuwait will soon be resolved through the soon-to-be-convened Joint Committee Meeting on the 2018 Philippines-Kuwait Agreement on the Employment of Domestic Workers.
Meanwhile, Chargé d’Affaires Lomondot met with Kuwaiti Assistant Foreign Minister for Protocol Dhari Al-Ajran to personally get the assurances of the Kuwaiti government for a swift and transparent investigation over the killing of OFW Villavende. The Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry is expected to release soon the full reports of the police investigation and autopsy on the case of OFW Villavende.