Villanueva lauds Asean accord to protect rights of migrant workers
Senator Joel Villanueva hailed on Wednesday the recently signed Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Consensus on the protection of migrant workers’ rights, saying it would complement the proposed measures, including the creation of a separate department for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
Villanueva, chair of the Senate committee on labor, issued the statement a day after Asean leaders signed on Tuesday the accord titled the Asean Consensus on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers.
The document is considered a milestone achievement of the Philippines’ chairmanship of the Asean this 2017.
“As the Chairperson of the Committee on Labor, we welcome the recent signing of the Asean Consensus on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers. It is a testament to the commitment of the region to improve the labor standards and protect the legal rights of our workers especially in line with ASEAN integration,” Villanueva noted.
The senator believed that the document would benefit the OFWs.
“Truly, there is a need to do so especially since we are in an era where our countrymen have increasingly chosen to work abroad,” Villanueva also said.
The lawmaker pointed out that the Consensus would complement and strengthen the pending bills in the Senate, including the creation of a separate department for OFWs.
“The agreement will complement and strengthen our pending bills in the Senate to improve the benefits and protection of our OFWs,” Villanueva said.
“One such example is the creation of a separate department for migrant workers which will cater to all their concerns and thereby reduce or eliminate bureaucracy in OFW assistance,” he added.
Earlier, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said the agreement “upholds fair treatment of migrant workers with respect to gender and nationality, provides for visitation rights by family members, prohibits confiscation of passports and overcharging of placement or recruitment fees, and protects against violence and sexual harassment in the workplace.”
The DFA also said that the accord likewise “regulates recruiters for better protection of workers, and respects their right to fair and appropriate remuneration and benefits and their right to join trade unions and association.”
“Like all Asean agreements, the implementation of the Asean Consensus will be subject to the respective laws of the organizations member-countries,” the DFA added. /kga
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