President Rodrigo Duterte at the meeting with the Filipino community in Hong Kong held at Kai Tak Cruise Terminal on April 12, 2018. Photo: Philippine government

Passports of Filipino workers in Kuwait will be kept at their embassy as a safeguard against abuses, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello has revealed — and they can dial the President if there are any problems.   

The agreement with Kuwait on the protection of overseas Filipino workers is expected to be signed by the start of Ramadan on May 15, with President Rodrigo Duterte possibly traveling to the sultanate.

Keeping passports at the embassy makes it less likely workers will be kept in Kuwait against their will, which has been a major grievance. Bello said Kuwait also agreed that workers get one day off a week, be allowed to cook their own food and be able to have a mobile phone.

Duterte said on Thursday during a meeting with the Filipino community in Hong Kong that the Kuwaiti government had accepted  all his conditions for the bilateral agreement.

“I have made so many demands before we sign the contract. In fairness to the Kuwait government, they agreed to them,” he said.

“If there is any complaints, they can go directly to me. My number is 8888, that’s the [president’s] hotline,” Duterte added.

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