Ties between Manila and Kuwait have improved since the Gulf State freed four Philippine embassy drivers. The Philippine government is now saying it could partly lift the ban on Filipinos being deployed to work in Kuwait once a bilateral agreement to protect migrant workers is signed.

On Wednesday, the Philippine government met with Kuwaiti officials to discuss the signing of the agreement, which is now expected to happen on Friday.

Labor secretary Silvestre Bello said he may recommend a partial lifting of the deployment ban to Kuwait after the signing of the agreement. That would allow skilled workers to be deployed to Kuwait, GMA News reported.

“The Philippine delegation met officials from the Kuwaiti Interior Ministry, where the Philippines and Kuwait look forward to the normalization of ties,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said.

Roque said the final decision on lifting the deployment ban would be made by President Rodrigo Duterte.

The Kuwaiti government agreed to release four Filipino drivers arrested last month for rescuing distressed Filipino domestic workers, the Philippine Star reported.

Roque said Kuwait had also agreed to create a special unit within the police that the Philippine embassy can contact in regard to concerns about Filipino workers, with a 24-hour “hotline” distressed workers can call for assistance.

Nearly 600 undocumented Filipino workers would also be allowed to return home, the president’s office said.

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