The deployment ban to Kuwait stays until a memorandum of agreement (MOA) for the minimum terms and conditions of employment of Philippine nationals in Kuwait is reached or signed, Malacañang announced Monday.
“As you know [Labor] Secretary [Silverstre] Bello and other cabinet members will be leaving for Kuwait on the 7th, which means that the process of diplomatic negotiations and conversations continues as we speak,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a press briefing.
As to whether the ban was permanent, Roque said that “it stays right now because the precondition set by the President is really the signing of that MOA.”
Secretary Roque also gave assurance that mechanisms are in place to protect Filipino workers who have chosen to remain in Kuwait.
He said Philippines’ diplomatic ties with Kuwait remains with the presence of a diplomatic mission headed by a chargé d’affaires.
“We still have a mission there to protect our nationals and Kuwait also is duty-bound to protect aliens under the standards dictated by international law, under terms and conditions which are not inferior to the way they treat their own nationals,” he said.
The Palace official added that the Philippines is trying to normalize ties with Kuwait saying, “He (The President) is not picking a fight with Kuwait. The President was very somber, he was very calm; he says that if Kuwait does not want our workers, then he would ask them to come home. But he has expressed profound gratitude for the fact that Kuwait has employed many of our nationals. So the whole tenor was non-confrontational.”
PH maintains economic momentum
Meanwhile, in the same briefing, Roque announced the Philippines continues to maintain its economic momentum as the Japan Credit Rating Agency (JRC) affirmed the country’s BBB+ credit rating and its stable outlook.
“According to JRC, this economic growth is attributed to a solid domestic demand, the government’s comparatively sound fiscal position, as well as our resilience to external shocks supported by declining external debt and accumulation of foreign exchange reserve,” Roque said.
“Similarly, Standard and Poor’s (S&P) upgraded the country’s credit rating from stable to positive citing the government’s improved policies including implementation of tax reform for acceleration and inclusion, or the TRAIN Law and the Build, Build, Build Program,” he added.
Roque further said the Philippines also continues to remain out of the United States government’s watchlist of countries with poor intellectual property rights protection and enforcement for the fourth consecutive year.
“The latest edition of the ‘Special 301 Report’ released by the office of the US Trade Representative showed that the Philippines continues to maintain a conducive environment for intellectual property through our vigorous campaign to fight counterfeiting and piracy,” he noted. ### PCO-Content