KUWAIT – On Wednesday, the Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte announced that he will withdraw all Filipinos working in Kuwait and be sent back to Philippines if another Filipino worker dies in the Gulf country.
On Saturday, the Philippines suspended the deployment of workers to Kuwait when the news of seven deaths of Filipino workers spread and it has since then caused an uneasiness among the Filipino community in Kuwait.
Unfortunately, Filipinos working in Kuwait will be affected especially those who have already established a permanent residence and those who have already built a strong professional career in the Gulf state.
However, the Philippine as a whole will not be affected much. Yes, there will be a decline in OFW remittances and there will definitely be a lot of inconveniences. Yes, a lot of OFWs will lose their job. Perhaps for a few months, or probably for a year. But Filipinos are resilient and no matter how hard the situations are, we will stand up and we will find another work soon enough.
Fortunately enough, Filipino workforce is highly in demand around the world. It may be bothersome for all Filipinos in Kuwait to find another jobs from other countries, but we will still survive.
The question is, will Kuwait Survive without the Filipinos? Worst case scenario, the Kuwait economy will crash to the point where it may be impossible for them to get back up. To be brutally honest, the Kuwait economy is mostly ran by the skilled and the unskilled workers, professional and non-professionals. In all fields of the Kuwait economy, Filipino talents are necessary.
“I’m sorry. The Filipinos there, you can all go home. Tutal kapag umalis kayong mga Filipino they will also be having a hell of a time adjusting there,” President Duterte said in a speech before leaving for his trip to India.
Being an OFW in Kuwait myself, wherever you go and wherever you look at, it is impossible not to be able to find a single Filipino in the gulf state. If the Kuwait Government will continue to ignore protecting its Filipino Expats, Kuwait will suffer more damage than the Philippines.
Kuwait and the Philippines will still share mutual benefits and interests if the OFWs will be permitted to remain in the Gulf state. However, if the Philippine government decides to push through the withdrawal of its citizens from Kuwait, unprecedented repercussions will be needed to address by the Kuwait Government – and it will surely be messy.