KUWAIT has expanded the ban on entry of Filipino workers, and will now include Filipino expatriates who have just been issued visas, a Kuwaiti newspaper said.
Aside from workers, expatriates include spouses of Kuwaiti nationals or foreign expats, children, business people, temporary workers for project-only and tourists.
Sources told BusinessMirror that a group of semi-skilled workers have been deported upon arrival at the Kuwait International Airport Wednesday.
Also, events in Kuwait headlining at least two Filipino bands and artists may be canceled or postponed following the ban on entry of Filipinos to the Arab country.
They include Rocksteddy who has rescheduled its concert on May 26, and Bamboo who is scheduled to perform in Sheikh Saad Alabdullah Sport Hall Complex in Sabah Al Salem on June 16.
“In a remarkable development, and as an extension of the decision to ban the issuance of visas to Filipinos, the outlets were notified not to allow any Filipino expatriate for whom a visa was issued before the ban was activated,” Kuwaiti newspaper Al Aban reported in Arabic.
However, those who have existing visas and have stayed in Kuwait with valid residency permits can enter.
“No Filipino expatriate who had been issued a visa earlier may enter. Only Filipinos with valid residency permits are allowed to enter,” the Al Aban added.
The newspaper posted a copy of the memo issued by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation of Kuwait.
On Tuesday, Arab language newspapers published stories that the First Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Talal Al-Khalid had issued an order suspending the issuance of visas to Filipino workers.
The Kuwaiti dailies said the decision came after the Philippine government allegedly violated provisions of the PHL-Kuwait labor agreement.
There was no mention of what provision of the labor agreement the Philippine government supposedly violated..
But the timing of the ban was suspicious and some quarters deemed it as retaliation for the unilateral decision of the Philippines to halt the deployment of first-time domestic workers to Kuwait in February.
The modified ban was an offshoot of the brutal rape and murder of 37-year-old maid Jullebee Ranara in January. The suspect, the 17-year-old son of her employer, was immediately arrested and prosecuted.
The departments of Foreign Affairs and of Migrant Workers refused to confirm the reported ban on entry of Filipino nationals to Kuwait.
According to Kuwait’s Public Authority for Civil Information, as of December 31, 2022, there are 274,777 Filipino workers and residents in Kuwait, making up 5.8 percent of the total number of expatriates in the Arab state.
Three-quarters of Filipino workers in Kuwait are domestic workers.
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