New Philippine Labor Attache to Kuwait, Atty. Alex Padaen is introduce by the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait to the different leaders of Filipino organizations in the Middle East.
“We are happy that finally we have a new labor attaché in Kuwait who can help us resolve cases of Filipinos in Kuwait, look into the welfare of OFWs and assure their well-being,” Kuwait Times quoted Ambassador Renato Pedro Villa as saying.
Padaen thanked the Filipino leaders for the warm welcome they accorded him, he was assigned previously in Jeddah and Al Khobar,Saudi Arabia.
“I’m very glad to be here and I’m happy with the warm welcome that the Filipino community has given me. I just want us all to be united as one community so we can pursue our common goals of helping our fellow Filipinos in Kuwait,” Padaen was quoted as saying by the Arab Times.
He also thanked Villa for the warm reception and embassy’s support to POLO and its staff.
Also present were Assistant Labor Attache Lily Pearl Guerrero, Vice Consul Charleson Hermosura, Welfare Officer Nestor Burayag, Administrative Officer Girlie Caba as well as other embassy and POLO-OWWA staff. Not new to the Middle East region, Padaen expressed his readiness to extend a helping hand to all OFWs in Kuwait amid the increasing number of distressed OFWs who run daily to the POLO-OWWA shelter to seek refuge from some of the abusive employers.
“During my term, I would push for the signing of the bilateral labour agreement between Kuwait and the Philippines for the protection and welfare of our Filipino workers. We will work closely with our counterpart in the Philippines and here in Kuwait to have both parties sign the agreement,” he reportedly said.
He will also try to reduce the increasing number of wards at the POLO-OWWA shelter, he added..
Currently, there are almost 300 wards at the center who are mostly victims of physical, sexual or verbal abuse, fatigue, lack of food or non-payment of salary. “The zero-ward policy is good, it’s ideal but I believe that’s hard to achieve and unrealistic. Moreover, it’s not a practical target, however, we will try our best to reduce the number of wards into a reasonable number, even just a double digit,” Kuwait Times quoted Padaen as saying.
Amid the ongoing repatriation of distressed OFWs, a number of maltreated OFWs also run to the embassy shelter daily, the report said.
The POLO record shows that for every ward repatriated daily, around five to seven also run to the embassy shelter every day.