Cebu News

Phil to lose Kuwait as market for OFW

Mayen Jaymalin - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — The country may lose Kuwait as a market for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) with the government's failure to resolve the impasse, a recruitment consultant warned yesterday.

Citing news reports from Kuwait, Manny Geslani said the Arab country is now working to outsource the skills and expertise needed for its labor market through contracts with other countries.

"This impasse threatens the livelihood of 280,000 OFWs in Kuwait unless the Philippine government takes steps to resolve this problem through top-level negotiations," Geslani stressed.

According to Geslani, the Philippine panel rejected the conditions set by the Kuwaiti government, which leaves the suspension of the deployment of OFWs to Kuwait without any solution in sight.

Meanwhile, Migrante International criticized the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) for offering alternative overseas employment opportunities for OFWs affected by the impasse.

"This government does not offer a concrete plan on the issue because it has become so over-dependent on OFW remittances. It sees no other solution to the problems brought about by labor export except continuing labor export," Migrante said in a statement.

Migrante said a concrete plan for the OFWs affected by the Kuwait ban should go beyond providing them cash assistance and helping them find work abroad.

It called on the government to promote local jobs instead of sending back the displaced workers abroad.

"We demand that the Marcos government seriously study and implement proposals to develop the country's agriculture and industries in order to provide jobs to Filipinos," Migrante added.

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