“And I‘m sorry, the Filipinos there, you can all go home,” he said. “If you leave, they will also be having a hell of a time adjusting to that.”
These are the words that President Duterte utter during his speech.
“One more incident about a woman, a Filipina being raped there, I’m going to stop, I’m going to ban,” Duterte ranted. He did not give details about the OFW who was recently raped in Kuwait. There are more than 250,000 Filipinos working in Kuwait.
Addressing government officials in Kuwait, Duterte said, “Can I just ask you now to treat my countrymen as human beings with dignity? I don’t want to fight with you. We need your help. You are helping us, but if it the assistance ends up with misery, rape, and my countrymen committing suicide they might as well leave Kuwait. We are poor, we may need your help, but we will not do it work at the expense of the dignity of the Filipino,” Duterte said.
He added: “Kuwait has always been an ally. But please do something about it,” stating that if he cannot solve the problems encountered by OFWs in Kuwait, “then there is no reason for me to stay in this position a minute longer”.
On Friday, the labor department suspended deployment of workers to Kuwait, a day after Duterte said abuse had driven several domestic helpers to suicide.
Kuwait initially expressed surprise and said it was in touch with Manila to try to resolve the issue.
More than 250,000 Filipinos work in Kuwait, the Philippine foreign ministry estimates, most of them as domestic helpers. There are also large numbers in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
Remittances by overseas Filipinos amount to more than $2 billion a month, keeping domestic demand robust in one of the world’s fastest-growing economies.