The labor disputes between Kuwait and the Philippines have garnered significant attention over the years. The issue gained widespread recognition following a series of tragic deaths of Filipino workers in 2018. As of 2022, an estimated 241,000 Filipinos are engaged in employment in Kuwait. Filipinos are primarily sought after for their expertise and educational qualifications in the Middle East job market.
In the recent ASEAN-GCC convention, Philippian President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. briefly met Kuwaiti Crown Prince Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.
The Kuwaiti monarch insisted that the issue could be resolved and that labor conditions would be improved. President Marcos is optimistic about improvement in the relations between the two countries.
The PBBMS (President BongBong Marcos) met with the Filipino community in Saudi Arabia and ensured steps were taken to strengthen ties between the two countries. Peaceful Resolution of Conflict between two nations is of utmost importance for smooth relations. PBBMS also talked about Gaza Airstrikes and called for a cessation of hostilities, and provision of humanitarian aid to the war-affected regions.
Remittances of Filipino Workers from Kuwait amounted to US$576,059 in 2021 and US$579,186 last year.
What is an Entry Ban?
In 2018, the former president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte issued a ban on the deployment of Filipinos to Kuwait due to the death of Filipino worker Joanna Demafelis. Inhumane working conditions, and over-exploitation of workers particularly maids was the reason for the strain between the two countries.
In Feb 2023 Filipino female worker Jullebee Ranara was found dead in a desert setting off a series of protests, the row between Kuwait and Filipinos intensified which led to Kuwait suspending the issuance of visas to Filipinos by May 2023.
The final Joint Statement of the ASEAN-GCC Riyadh Summit can be viewed below: