The Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila, Philippines. Photo: Google Maps
The Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila, Philippines. Photo: Google Maps

The Philippine and Kuwaiti governments have agreed that domestic workers should be paid a minimum salary of 120 dinars – US$400 – a month.

In a statement, the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs said domestic workers in Kuwait will be given a minimum monthly salary of 120 dinars (US$400) with at least eight hours’ rest per day.

The agreement will also allow them to retain their passports and phones – but Filipinos are only permitted to work at one household.

Foreign secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said there should be more pragmatic measures included in the bilateral labor agreement with Kuwait before Manila lifts its ban on Filipinos being allowed to work there.

“We hope to incorporate more practical measures that would better protect our countrymen working there from exploitation and abuse,”  he said.

Cayetano said he would recommend that domestic workers be paid by direct transfer of their salary to their bank accounts.

“This will ensure that our countrymen do not get shortchanged and will receive the salary they originally signed up for,” he said.

The conditions and welfare of Filipino workers have come under the spotlight because of the high incidence of abuse in Kuwait, as well as high-profile murders and deaths, which caused President Duterte to put a stop on Filipinos going to work in the small Gulf state.

Cayetano said he also wants to see an effective mechanism that would allow Filipino workers to file complaints directly with Kuwaiti authorities. He said there had been instances of employers trying to preempt cases against them by filing false charges such as theft against their Filipino employees.

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