The issue of implementing the bilateral labour agreement between the Philippines and Kuwait to ensure the well-being and safety of some 260,000 Filipinos living in Kuwait – most domestic workers – needs to be addressed urgently. The conflict between the two nations reached new heights in April, when Kuwait denounced the Philippine ambassador over a video showing embassy employees „saving“ workers allegedly abused by their employers. Relations between the two countries became more tense when a video showing operations by Philippine embassy officials allegedly rescuing Filipino maids from allegedly abusive employers emerged. The operation, carried out on 21 April 2018, was regarded by Kuwait as a „blatant“ violation of its sovereignty. Philippine diplomats insist the operations were not secret.  Two embassy officials allegedly encouraged Filipino workers to leave their employers.  The signing took place amid the diplomatic dispute between the two countries. Philippine Ambassador to Kuwait Renato Villa has been declared „persona non grata“ for the rescue of OFWs abused by the embassy. The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) entitled „Agreement on the Employment of Domestic Workers“ between the Philippines and Kuwait was signed on 11 May 2018 by representatives of Kuwait and the Philippines.  Following a meeting between officials from the two countries, the four drivers involved were released and the charges against them were dropped.  In early 2018, a diplomatic crisis began between the countries of Kuwait and the Philippines due to their concerns about the situation of Filipino migrant workers in the Gulf country. „Recently, we signed an agreement between the two countries on the employment of domestic workers,“ Saha said at the press conference in Kuwait. He added that the agreement „grants a number of rights to Filipino workers.“ Despite Kuwait`s action against the Philippine ambassador and his own envoy to Manila, Philippine Foreign Minister Alan Peter Cayetano said on April 25 that the agreement would be signed in the Philippines and that the Kuwaiti government had continued the agreement.
Cayetano also encouraged Duterte to accept Kuwait`s invitation to a state visit to the Middle East country.  The standard contract for THE OFWs is included in an employment contract between the two countries in 2018 – an agreement to protect the welfare of Filipino workers in the Gulf state. Labour representatives had previously attributed the delay to their completion to differences of opinion on certain rules of the provision. On 6 March, Mr. Duterte laid down two conditions for the lifting of the ban on working in Kuwait; the signing of an agreement on labour policy between Kuwait and the Philippines, and „justice“ in relation to the death of Joanna Demafelis.  On 16 March, a draft agreement was drawn up by officials from both countries and was due to be signed in Kuwait in two weeks.  Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Salah al-Khaled al-Sabah confirmed the agreement at a joint press conference with his Philippine counterpart Alan Peter Cayetano.