FILE - In this Saturday, April 28, 2018, file photo, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte addresses the Filipino community in Singapore. Duterte said Sunday, April 29, 2018 that a ban on Filipino workers from heading to Kuwait that's been in effect since February would now be permanent, inflaming a dispute sparked by complaints of the abuse of Filipina housemaids and workers in the Gulf country. Kuwait on Wednesday expelled the Philippine ambassador and recalled its own envoy from Manila over the dispute. (AP Photo/Yong Teck Lim, File)
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte addresses the Filipino community in Singapore. Welcomed an olive branch from Kuwait over their migrant labour row, days after President Rodrigo Duterte announced aShow more

Philippines moves to halt Kuwait migrant row



The Philippines on Tuesday welcomed an olive branch from Kuwait over their migrant labour row, days after President Rodrigo Duterte announced a permanent ban on Filipino workers going to the Gulf state.

The dispute, simmering for months, erupted last week when Kuwait expelled the Philippine ambassador over videos of embassy staff helping Filipino workers flee allegedly abusive bosses in Kuwait.

But the Kuwaitis sought to calm the crisis after Mr Duterte said on Sunday that he was making permanent the departure ban in place since February, when a murdered Filipina maid was found in her employer's freezer.

Kuwait's Deputy Foreign Minister Nasser Al Subaih said on Monday the row was "largely a misunderstanding" and "we do not believe in escalation".

Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano welcomed that conciliatory message on Tuesday.

"This gesture on the part of Kuwait, a country with which we have a shared history and strong people-to-people ties, will allow us to move forward," Mr Cayetano said in a statement.

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"We affirm our friendship with the government of Kuwait and its people. The strength of that friendship will withstand this misunderstanding," he added.

Mr Cayetano apologised last week for the rescues, but Kuwait called them violations of sovereignty before expelling the Philippine envoy and recalling its own ambassador from Manila.

Before relations plunged, Kuwait and the Philippines had been negotiating a labour deal that could have resulted in the lifting of the ban on Filipinos leaving to work in the Gulf state.

In a speech marking Labour Day, Mr Duterte reiterated his long-standing condition that Kuwait implement more worker safeguards before the standoff can end.

"We are pushing for better protection of migrant workers especially those in vulnerable groups such as domestic helpers or household workers in the Middle East," he said.

The president added the protections should include guarantees that Filipina maids be allowed to keep their phones and passports, which some employers confiscate to keep the workers in line.

Mr Duterte also repeated an offer of free transport to Filipinos in Kuwait who want to return home, promising assistance when they get back.

"We shall mobilise continuously till everyone who wants (to come back) will come home," he said.

Around 262,000 Filipinos work in Kuwait, nearly 60 per cent of them domestic workers, according to the Philippine foreign ministry.

President Duterte previously said workers returning from Kuwait could find employment as English teachers in China, citing improved ties with Beijing.

The Philippines has sent millions of its people to work abroad, seeking salaries they cannot get in their relatively impoverished nation.

The money they send back home accounts for about 10 per cent of the Philippine economy.

The Bio

Favourite vegetable: “I really like the taste of the beetroot, the potatoes and the eggplant we are producing.”

Holiday destination: “I like Paris very much, it’s a city very close to my heart.”

Book: “Das Kapital, by Karl Marx. I am not a communist, but there are a lot of lessons for the capitalist system, if you let it get out of control, and humanity.”

Musician: “I like very much Fairuz, the Lebanese singer, and the other is Umm Kulthum. Fairuz is for listening to in the morning, Umm Kulthum for the night.”

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Company name: Revibe
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Founders: Hamza Iraqui and Abdessamad Ben Zakour
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Industry: Refurbished electronics
Funds raised so far: $10m
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RESULTS

5pm: Handicap (PA) Dh80,000 (Turf) 2,200m
Winner: Jawal Al Reef, Fernando Jara (jockey), Ahmed Al Mehairbi (trainer)

5.30pm: Handicap (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 1,600m
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6.30pm: Maiden (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 1,200m
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7pm: Wathba Stallions Cup Handicap (PA) Dh70,000 (T) 1,200m
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7.30pm: Handicap (TB) Dh90,000 (T) 1,400m
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COMPANY PROFILE

Name: SmartCrowd
Started: 2018
Founder: Siddiq Farid and Musfique Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech / PropTech
Initial investment: $650,000
Current number of staff: 35
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Various institutional investors and notable angel investors (500 MENA, Shurooq, Mada, Seedstar, Tricap)

The years Ramadan fell in May

1987

1954

1921

1888

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Co Chocolat

Started: 2017

Founders: Iman and Luchie Suguitan

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Food

Funding: $1 million-plus

Investors: Fahad bin Juma, self-funding, family and friends

RESULTS

6pm: Marfa Deira – Conditions (PA) Dh80,000 (Dirt) 1,200m
Winner: Wadheha, Bernardo Pinheiro (jockey), Majed Al Jahouri (trainer)
6.35pm: Dubai Creek – Maiden (TB) Dh82,500 (D) 1,400m
Winner: Barq Al Emarat, Bernardo Pinheiro, Ismail Mohammed
7.10pm: Mina Hamriya – Handicap (TB) Dh95,000 (D) 1,600m
Winner: Tahdeed, Dane O’Neill, Michael Costa
7.45pm: Mina Rashid – Maiden (TB) Dh82,500 (D) 1,900m
Winner: Seyaasi, Xavier Ziani, Salem bin Ghadayer
8.20pm: Al Garhoud Sprint DP World – Listed (TB) Dh132,500 (D) 1,200m
Winner: Mouheeb, Ray Dawson, Michael Costa
8.55pm: Mirdiff Stakes Jebel Ali Port – Conditions (TB) Dh120,000 (D) 1,400m
Winner: Seyouff, Antonio Fresu, Michael Costa
9.30pm: Jebel Ali Free Zone – Handicap (TB) Dh95,000 (D) 2,000m
Winner: Ajuste Fiscal, Jose da Silva, Julio Olascoaga

Top goalscorers in Europe

34 goals - Robert Lewandowski (68 points)

34 - Ciro Immobile (68)

31 - Cristiano Ronaldo (62)

28 - Timo Werner (56)

25 - Lionel Messi (50)

*29 - Erling Haaland (50)

23 - Romelu Lukaku (46)

23 - Jamie Vardy (46)

*NOTE: Haaland's goals for Salzburg count for 1.5 points per goal. Goals for Dortmund count for two points per goal.