By A Saleh

KUWAIT: The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines strongly rejected lifting the ban on sending domestic helpers to Kuwait. TUCP Chairman Raymond Mendoza said that the decision made by Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello and the Department of Labor and Employment’s board of directors to lift the ban came hastily and without thinking about its consequences, nor achieving justice for the Filipina maids who had died in Kuwait. Mendoza added that both the Philippines foreign ministry and DOLE know that domestic helpers are the weakest amongst Filipinos working in Kuwait. “They should have waited until the trial was over before lifting the ban,” he underlined.

Motorist killed in collision
A Kuwaiti was killed after his vehicle collided into a truck along Fahaheel Expressway, said security sources, noting that the citizen was seriously injured and died on arrival at the hospital, while the other driver sustained only minor injuries.

Woman found dead
A Kuwaiti woman, in her thirties, was found dead in her apartment in Salwa, said security sources, noting that one of the victim’s friends had reported the matter to the police. Initial investigations suggest that the woman might have been murdered. A case was filed and further investigations are in progress.

MoH bonuses, promotions
The health ministry announced allocating KD 12 million for its employees’ excellent performance bonuses for 2019, said informed sources, noting that the ministry is currently listing the deserving employees’ names to finalize it by next month and pay the bonuses by April at most. In another health-related concern, MoH promoted 700 employees working in pharmaceutical and allied medical services to higher positions with various job titles.

The sources elaborated that the promoted employees include 77 radiology and nuclear medicine technicians, 22 in food and nutrition, three in psychological treatment, eight in the hearing and speech department and six decontamination technicians.

Mask exports halted
Well-informed sources said MoH had made a recommendation to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry to temporarily stop exporting and re-exporting all kinds of face masks. The sources added that accordingly, Minister Khaled Al-Roudhan issued a ministerial decision temporarily halting all medical mask exports.

No fee hike without review
Health Minister Sheikh Dr Basel Al-Sabah issued a ministerial decision halting any increase in the charges of medical services provided by private medical facilities unless reviewed and authorized by the ministry’s concerned committee. In another medical issue, MoH assistant undersecretary for private medical services affairs Dr Fatima Al-Najjar stressed the presence of coordination between the ministry and various private medical facilities concerning the protocol to be followed with the new coronairus.

Shaheed Park concert legal
The information ministry stressed that a local art production company had applied to it to get a license to hold a concert at Shaheed Park, and that the application was fully legal. The license was given after the applicants signed affidavits not to violate laws regulating concerts and parties. The ministry added that its inspectors will be present at the concert to ensure that the laws and regulations are fully adhered to. The ministry’s statement came in response to reports about allowing a foreign band into Kuwait to hold a concert at the park. This particular band is known to always break censorship regulations.
MoD final budget statement

Chairman of the parliamentary budgets committee Adnan Abdulsamad said that the committee met in the presence of Deputy PM and Defense Minister Sheikh Ahmad Al-Mansour Al-Sabah to discuss the ministry’s final statement for the fiscal year 2018-2019. Abdulsamad said the final statement had been properly prepared in four years since a law was passed setting an exceptional budget for the defense ministry’s armaments for 10 years, with a total value of KD 3 billion.

Abdulsamad added that the committee is still awaiting the finance ministry’s approval to add the balance of the exceptional budget to the state budget. The committee finally decided forming a special team from the ministry’s technical office to reach the right solution after coordination with the Audit Bureau and finance ministry auditors. Notably, the defense ministry also briefed the committee on the procedures it had followed on referring the memo of the Eurofighter jet contract to the public prosecution.