Duterte to Middle East nations: Dismantle kafala system or OFWs will be sent home
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday called on Middle Eastern countries to dismantle the Kafala system or he will ask overseas Filipino workers (OFW) there to return to the Philippines.
“To everybody in the Middle East, I would like to tell them that, not only Filipinos but all human beings, the kafala has no place there because it’s a set-up for slavery,” Duterte said in his final State of the Nation Address (Sona).
“Either you wreck it or we will ask our workers, Filipino workers, to go home. Sabi ko ‘bahala na, kung mahirap lang kami dito, OK lang.’ We will try our very best to make up for what they have lost, what they will lose in the process but we will never allow them to be slaves,” he added.
The kafala system requires migrant workers to have a sponsor in the country of employment to get a visa and worker’s permit. This allows employers to control the employment and migration status of foreign workers.
“We call on the world to dismantle the heinous kafala system because Filipinos are no slaves to anyone, anywhere,” Duterte also said.
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