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Para sa OFW: Joel Villanueva wants resolution of diplomatic row between PH, Kuwait to be a priority

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Senator Joel Villanueva on Friday said the recent diplomatic row between the Philippines and Kuwait is a pressing matter that requires “immediate attention.”

He was referring to the decision of Kuwaiti authorities to expel from their country Philippine Ambassador Renato Villa for the handling of the supposed “rescue” of distressed Filipina domestic helpers.

Philippine embassy officials also earned the ire of Kuwaiti government when videos of the said rescue “mission” were posted on social media and even went viral.

With this development, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) opted to hold in abeyance the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Kuwait specifying better treatment of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in the gulf state.

“We agree with DFA. But remain hopeful that both countries can arrive at a mutually beneficial and fair agreement in time,” the senator said.

“It’s crystal clear that our main concern is the protection of our OFWs,” said Villanueva, chairman of the Senate Committee on Labor.

However, he added, “We are still positive that the signing of MOU that would protect the rights of our OFWs in Kuwait would still push through.”

“We remain hopeful that both countries can arrive at a mutually beneficial and fair agreement in time,” he said.

“We hope that this issue will be resolved as soon as possible and we are hopeful that this will not cause any strain on the diplomatic ties between the two countries,” he said.