Sen. Nancy Binay believes that the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) should study a gradual phaseout of the deployment of Filipino domestic helpers to other countries.
According to Binay, the recent joint Senate committee hearing showed that there is a growing trend of Filipinos being abused in other countries, particularly in the Middle East.
“Sigurado dapat pag-aralan na ng DOLE at POEA kung dapat magkaroon na ng programa ang ating pamahalaan na kung saan unti-unti natin i-phaphaseout yung pagpapadala ng domestic helper sa ibang bansa.” Binay said during DZRH’s One On One.
The senator pointed out that most of the maltreated Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) are household helpers and that there are seldom reports of professional workers being abused.
“Doon sa mga skilled at professional bihira yung kaso ng abuse.” Binay revealed. “Pero pagdating sa household helpers doon tayo nagkakaproblema.”
Binay further believes that it is ‘high time’ to stop the deployment of Filipino domestic helpers to Kuwait since the country refuses to sign an agreement for the welfare of OFWs.
“Kung ganun talaga mag-hahardline ang Kuwait, siguro it is hightime na huwag talaga na nating pa-biyahein ang ating mga kababayan as domestic helpers.” Binay believes.
The senator also expressed sadness that government legislation has become suggestions since the Migrant Workers’ Act was not fully implemented in Kuwait.
Binay explained that the Migrant Workers Act requires that an agreement for the protection of the OFWs be signed by the foreign country before Filipino workers are deployed.
“Apparently doon sa Migrant Act nakasaad doon na kailangan may ganoon kasunduan or else hindi tayo dapat nagpapadala ng ating kababayan sa mga bansang wala ganung kasunduan.” Binay explained.
However, Binay revealed that Kuwait was only partially compliant of the said law.
“Makikita naman natin doon sa Kuwait, to do away with that provision, ginawang partial compliant.” Binay further added.
On February 21, the Senate Committees on Labor, Employment, and Human Resources Development, and Foreign Relations started their investigation on the death of OFW Joanna Demafelis, whose body was found inside a freezer at an apartment in Kuwait.
The case of Demafelis resulted in the implement of a total OFW deployment ban to Kuwait and the repatriation of distressed Filipino workers from the Middle Eastern country.