THE Kuwaiti government is open to reviewing the four-year-old bilateral labor agreement it has with the Philippines.

This was according to the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW), saying its initial feedback indicate a “positive response” from its Kuwait counterparts.

“Whether receptive or not, our initial feedback is it looks like they are open to it,” said DMW Secretary Susan Ople in a virtual press conference on Friday, January 27, 2023.

“The response of the Kuwaiti minister, who visited us, was positive,” added DMW Undersecretary Hans Leo Cacdac.

Ople also said they do not see any reason why Kuwait will refuse the review of the bilateral pact entered into by the two nations in 2018.

“It is also in their own interest to make sure that such brutal crimes won’t happen again in their country,” she said.

Ople also believes that a review is already due considering that the previous one was signed with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

“There is an automatic review clause in the agreement. Nothing prevents us, especially since we are a new department, from reaching out to the Kuwaiti government,” Ople said.

The DMW chief said they are firm believers of social dialogue as being the key in resolving labor migration concerns, and not a deployment ban.

“I have always believed in social dialogue as the all-important first step in resolving labor migration concerns. It means that, for now, we wish to resort to labor diplomacy to add more safeguards and ensure that justice is pursued on behalf of Jullebee Ranara and her family,” Ople said.

Ranara’s burnt remains were earlier found in a desert in Kuwait with the suspect being the son of her employer.

The incident has sparked renewed calls for an OFW deployment ban to be imposed by the Philippines against Kuwait.

Ople has already thumbed down the call for a deployment ban and instead pushed for a review of the bilateral labor agreement between the Philippines and Kuwait regarding overseas Filipino workers. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)