Department for Migrant Workers to give ‘utmost protection’ to domestic helpers
MANILA, Philippines — Domestic helpers, being the “most vulnerable” overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), will get the “utmost protection” of the newly-created Department of Migrant Workers (DMW), its undersecretary Hans Leo Cacdac said on Friday.
Cacdac, formerly the administrator of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, said that there were about 70 percent of total OFWs worldwide working in the Middle East, many of them domestic helpers who have experienced work issues such as physical and mental abuse.
“More than any other skill set or job category, it would be domestic workers… that will have the most attention,” Cacdac said over ABS-CBN News Channel.
“They are the most vulnerable skillset; most distressed cases would be OFW Kasambahays who encounter work problems, work violation, work contract violations and abuses abroad. So, yes, domestic workers will get the utmost protection,” he further said.
Cacdac, however, noted that there are already existing legal frameworks and regulations that will serve as guide in terms of domestic worker protection.
“There are bilateral agreements that have been signed with Saudi and Kuwait during the Duterte Administration that will serve as our standards of protection for our OFWs,” Cacdac noted.
“Non-confiscation of passports and cellphones are provisions of these bilateral agreements. But yes, greater emphasis still needs to be given to ensure that there will be greater protection OFWs in the Middle East,” he added.
The DMW will be in full operation in 2023, according to Secretary Susan “Toots” Ople.
Among the agencies that will be under the DMW are the OWWA and Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).
For the meantime, the said agencies will still be under the Department of Labor and Employment until the DMW becomes fully operational in 2023.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.