Philippine Department of Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello III met on Sunday with Kuwait Minister of Finance and Acting State Minister for Economic Affairs Mariam Al-Aqeel and discussed with her matters of mutual concern focusing on the welfare and protection of Filipino workers in Kuwait.
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Bello was accompanied by Philippine Charge d’ Affaires Mohd Nordin Pendosina Lomondot, DOLE Undersecretary Claro Arellano, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration Administrator Bernard Olalia, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Hans Leo Cacdac, Labor Attache Nasser Mustafa, POEA Directors John Rio Bautista and Ria Corazon Lano.
“We conveyed to the minister the purpose of our visit here that is to get an update on the case of OFW Jeanelyn Villavende and ensure that justice is served as well as the crafting of the harmonized standard employment contract for Filipino household service workers,” disclosed Bello to the Arab Times.
Bello outlined that Al-Aqeel extended them a warm welcome and gave her assurance of their utmost cooperation on the aforementioned matters.
On the same day, Bello also met with the Minister of Justice and Minister of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs Fahad Al-Afasi. During their meeting, Bello requested from Al-Afasi an update on the cases of some Overseas Filipino workers namely Constancia Dayag, an HSW who died last year, the case of the HSW who was allegedly raped by an airport policeman upon her arrival at the Kuwait airport and the case of HSW Jeanelyn Villavende who was allegedly sexually abused and tortured to death by her Kuwaiti employers.
“I requested for a copy of the formal charge filed against the suspects of Jeanelyn Villavende and also a certification and validation that they are indeed in detention,” stated Bello.
Bello added that Al-Afasi conveyed to them that he shares the sentiment on the death of Villavende and expresses regret and extends sympathy to the family.
“He assured us that they will be very fair and that they will give justice to Jeanelyn Villavende,” stated Bello.
He thanked Al-Aqeel and Al-Afasi for their warm reception. Meanwhile, the two-day Joint Committee Meeting between the Philippines and Kuwait Technical Working Groups commenced on Sunday as they work together in crafting a harmonized standard employment contract for Filipino domestic workers or household service workers.
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