President Rodrigo Duterte said Friday (Feb 9) that he wanted overseas Filipino workers out of Kuwait in 72 hours, adding that he was ready to ask PAL and Cebu Pacific to fly them home, according to The Manila Times Online .
He said at a press conference held at Matina Enclaves, Davao City, that he could no longer stomach the persistent abuses against Filipino migrant workers in Kuwait.
“I want them out of the country, those who want to go out in 72 hours. We will count our lives by the hours because apparently, every hour, there is a suffering and agony, brutality committed against Filipinos,” said the president.
He reiterated his appeal to the Kuwaiti government to stop the inhumane treatment of overseas Filipino workers as he insisted that the ban on the deployment would continue.
“We do not seek special treatment or privileges for our workers, but we do expect respect for their dignity and basic human rights. Keep them free from harm. I implore you. I ask all Arab people, the Filipino is no slave to anyone, anywhere and everywhere,” said Duterte.
Kuwait is a top destination of migrant workers from the Philippines. The latest data from the Philippine Employment Administration said there are some 86,019 Filipinos in Kuwait as of 2015.
Unofficial estimate put the figure at 250,000 with most of them working as domestic helpers.