DOLE mulls imposing deployment ban to only household service workers
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is studying the possibility of narrowing the deployment ban in Kuwait to household service workers (HSWs) only.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said he “sees some wisdom” in the suggestion to bar only HSWs, but this would still be studied by the agency.
“Pag-aaralan natin ‘yan; medyo maganda ang suggestion na ‘yan dahil sa household service workers maraming cases na victims of maltreatment and sometimes deaths,” Bello told reporters.
(We will study it; that suggestion is good because there are many cases where household service workers are victims of maltreatment and sometimes deaths.)
The labor secretary stressed that in Kuwait alone, 80 percent of Filipino workers are HSWs.
Two weeks ago, Filipina worker Joanna Demafelis’ body was found inside a freezer in the abandoned apartment of her Lebanese employers in Kuwait.
Her death prompted President Rodrigo Duterte to impose a total deployment ban of OFWs in the country.
Bello said they would also study the imposition of additional deployment bans in other countries.
“It’s possible but if it’s probable, that is another issue,” he said.
Senator Joel Villanueva, chair of the Senate committee on labor, employment and human resources development, said he is also open to the suggested ban of HSWs, whom he described as “very vulnerable.”
“Well, tinitignan natin yung issue na yun at nakikipag-ugnayan tayo sa DOLE and for them to make a necessary recommendation dahil itong household service workers na nakikita natin ay very vulnerable,” he said.
(Well, we’ll look into that issue and we will work with DOLE for them to make a necessary recommendation because the household service workers are very vulnerable.)
“Binaggit din ni Secretary Mama-o na ‘yung mga household service workers ang pumapasok sa tinatawag na kafala system o parang modern day slavery. Kinukuha ‘yung cellphone, kinukuha ‘yung passport. At doon sa kafala system o sponsorship system, ‘pag umalis ang ating kababayan nang hindi nagpapaalam, may criminal liability na puwedeng harapin ang ating kababayan. Ito po ay napakahalaga na pagtuunan ng pansin ng ating gobyerno,” he added.
(Secretary Mama-o also mentioned that household service workers enter into what they call a kafala system or something like modern day slavery. Their cellphones and passports are confiscated. In the kafala system of sponsorship system, if they leave without permission, they may face criminal liability. This is an important issue that the government must pay attention to.) /je
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