Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Senator Villar proposes separate housing for OFWs in Middle East, to ensure workers' safety

Senator Cynthia Villar, photo file (ctto)

Manila, Philippines - Recently, distressing stories of our Filipino Overseas Workers (OFW) being physically abused, emotionally, and s*xually abused, assaulted, traded from one household to another like slaves, and some were even murdered are far too common.

According to Philippine Ambassador Renato Pedro Villa, out of the estimated 10, 000 Filipino employees overstaying their visas in Kuwait, 8, 000 of them are believed to be domestic helpers claiming abuse at the hands of their employers.

Aside from Kuwait, there are several hundred to thousand distressed OFWs in other countries in the region as well.

The Philippine government is now urgently trying to consider possible ways available to improve and ensure the safety of our workers outside the country, especially the domestic helpers in the Middle East.

An example of this is the proposal of Senator Cynthia Villar during a meeting of recruitment agencies that “live in” domestic helpers be prohibited, considering that vast majority of abuse complaints were among our domestic helper workers who lived with their employers.

The context actually makes senses, looking into this arrangement, workers will have separate housing to keep them safe and avoid unwanted incident.

Also, with our domestic helpers living outside their employer’s home, it will be easier for the agencies and families to keep tabs on them.

With the said arrangement, imposing the total deployment ban on certain sectors may not be necessary at all. Further, Villar’s, proposal may only require minor adjustment, and is more likely to be accepted by OFWs, hiring agencies, and host countries.

This proposal may be indeed a practical measure to consider in order to prevent abuse of our OFWs and ensure their safety.

 Source: Manila Times