Gatchalian mulls review of labor pact with foreign countries to protect OFWs
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said on Thursday it is high time that the government should scrutinize the protection and labor laws in all countries where there are overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) following the brutal death of a Filipina worker in Kuwait.
At a forum, Gatchalian, who chairs the Senate committee on economic affairs, lamented the increasing number of deaths of OFW in Kuwait alone, which reportedly reached 196 in the last three years.
The senator said Kuwait’s refusal to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Philippines to safeguard the rights of Filipino workers in their country, as well as the increasing case of abuses and deaths, were “signs of their apathy.”
“Senyales ito na wala silang pakialam, sa haba ng panahon wala silang hakbang na ginawa (This is a sign that they have no concern, for the longest time they did nothing),” he said.
Gatchalian said he is also open to suggestions of extending the deployment ban in other countries that do not have a clear law to protect the rights of OFWs and those with high cases of abuses and deaths.
Last week, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III announced the complete deployment ban of workers to Kuwait following the discovery of the body of Filipina worker Joanna Demafelis inside the freezer of her employers’ abandoned apartment in Kuwait, and amid the investigation on seven Filipino household workers killed in the Arab country. /jpv
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