Villanueva wants solid plan for OFWs in Kuwait if deployment ban happens
Senator Joel Villanueva has urged the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to put in place a contingency plan for overseas Filipino workers (OFW) who may be affected by an impending deployment ban of Filipino workers to Kuwait.
Villanueva, chairperson of the Senate committee on labor, employment and human resources development, said the government should be ready to accommodate OFWs should President Rodrigo Duterte decides to withdraw all OFWs in Kuwait.
“We support the President’s deployment ban to Kuwait but we believe that this move must be accompanied with review and implementation of strict regulation,” Villanueva said in a statement on Saturday.
Duterte, in a speech on Wednesday, January 24, threatened to withdraw all OFWs in Kuwait if another migrant Philippine worker dies from abuse.
“One more incident about being a woman, a Filipina worker being raped there, committing suicide, I’m going to stop. I’m going to ban [deployment] there,” Duterte said.
The President’s remarks came days after DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III suspended the processing of overseas employment certificates of Kuwait-bound workers in light of the death of seven OFWs.
Based on DOLE reports, Villanueva said, about 1,447 cases of maltreatment, 2,959 cases of contract violation, 227 sexual abuses and 63 cases of rape of Filipino workers were recorded in 2016.
“We are calling on the government agencies concerned, especially Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, and the Department of Foreign Affairs, to double their efforts to protect the safety and welfare of our kababayans abroad and to immediately and effectively settle the cases of abuse being faced by our afflicted OFWs,” Villanueva said. /jpv
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