President Rodrigo Duterte said early Sunday morning that the deployment ban of Filipino workers to Kuwait, especially domestic helpers, would "stay permanently."
"There will be no more recruitment... especially domestic helpers. Wala na," said Duterte, who just flew in from Singapore where he attended the 32nd ASEAN summit.
The president also urged Filipino blue-collar workers already in Kuwait to come home, as he projected that other jobs would become available for them.
Among the possible future deployment destinations workers could look forward to was China, where some 100,000 English teachers would be needed in the next five years.
There would also be a need for caregivers in countries with aging populations, with Duterte pointing to Japan as one of these possible destination countries.
Furthermore, the president said that the Philippines would need workers because of the bullish economy, and because of the government's "Build, Build, Build" infrastructure program.
As he made an appeal to Kuwait OFWs' sense of patriotism, the President said, "please come home."
Nevertheless, Duterte conceded that things would initially be difficult for returning workers, but matters would "straighten out" eventually.
According to the Foreign Affairs Department, there were 260,000 Filipinos working in Kuwait, with more than 65 percent of them domestic helpers.
The president also reiterated that he had no ill will towards the Kuwaiti government, nor with the Kuwaiti people. Nonetheless, he hoped that the Filipino workers who chose to remain in Kuwait would be treated humanely. — DVM/LBG, GMA News