President Duterte declares deployment ban in Kuwait permanent

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Sunday, April 29, announced that the ban on the deployment of workers in Kuwait will stay permanently.

“There will be no more recruitment for — especially domestic helpers,” he said in his statement at the Davao International Airport in Buhangin, Davao City.

The President arrived early Sunday morning from Singapore following his successful participation at the 32nd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit.

The Chief Executive reiterated his appeal to Filipinos who are still in Kuwait to come home and asked them to “cherish and nurture patriotism.”

“I appeal to your sense of patriotism and to your love of country and family,” he said.

Duterte vowed that the government will do its best to help overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Kuwait to return and resettle.

He noted that the country’s economy is doing good, adding that there is a lack of skilled workers in the country such as master carpenters, master plumbers, and master electricians.

At the same time, the President mentioned that there are a number of constructions going on as his administration launches projects under its massive infrastructure program.

He also disclosed that China is seeking to employ about a thousand English teachers from the Philippines.

“Maybe we can give them the preference ‘yung maraming mga maestra na nagtrabaho ng ganun. So unahin muna natin sila. If they are adept in — sa English language, then I will be going to communicate with my friend, how he can help us,” he said.

The President also appealed to Kuwait to treat with humanity they deserve the Filipinos who wish to stay in the Gulf state.

“Please do not abuse Filipino workers,” he said.

Duterte described the conflict in Kuwait as current developments which test both countries’ commitment to work together.

“We must be undeterred in the work of helping our fellow human beings as we pursue our shared interests with due respect [for] each other’s sovereignty,” he said.

The President, however, clarified that he does not nurture hate against Kuwaiti people and government, citing the “so many years that we were in best of relations.”

ASEAN leaders want non-interference in internal affairs

Meanwhile, President Duterte stated that he and his fellow leaders agreed that the time-honored principles of sovereign equality and non-interference in internal affairs should be observed.

“This we made clear: in our relations with the larger community of nations, ASEAN and its partners should uphold and honor the time-honored principles of sovereign equality and non-interference in internal affairs,” he said.

During the summit, Duterte said that three key documents that will facilitate the region’s vision for greater community, centrality and connectivity were adopted.

In the discussions, the President said he raised the need to continue broadening cooperation to address terrorism and violent extremism.

Likewise, he underscored deepening collaboration to dismantle the illegal drug trade apparatus, counter piracy and combat criminality.

At the sidelines of the summit, the President met Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

“We need to keep our ties with them and our ASEAN brothers and sisters in a vibrant and active ambiance,” he said.

“In our discussions, we further reaffirmed the shared commitment to sustain the security [in] our maritime domains and enhance regional interconnectivity through the technology and innovation that’s available,” he further said.

Duterte said the leaders also reached an agreement to promote free and fair, and rules-based trading system to sustain the gains of our economic growth.

Another key focus of President Duterte’s dialogues in Singapore was the protection and promotion of the rights and the well-being of our migrant workers.

“We pushed the ASEAN Consensus on the protection and the promotion of the rights of the migrant workers and their families,” he said, adding that primers published by the Philippines were distributed and nations were encouraged to use them.

“As I said, your government will take every opportunity to articulate our principled position [on] protecting migrant workers and our countrymen and women,” he said.

With regard to the historic summit of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, President Duterte said there is less stress now in the Korean Peninsula.

“And maybe, just maybe, we can avoid a war which nobody can win anyway,” he said.

Duterte said North Korea’s leader has been pictured to be the bad boy of the community, but with one masterstroke, he is now the “hero of everybody” and appeared to be amiable, jolly good fellow, and very accommodating.

“I hope he remains to be that way because nobody is really after him,” he said.

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