Villanueva wants review of deployment ban for household service workers
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Joel Villanueva said Tuesday that he is pushing for a review of deployment ban for household service workers (HSWs) in other countries not just in Kuwait, where a Filipina worker died in the hands of her employer.
“Well, right now, right now is a total deployment ban. But we have HSWs out there right now. Now we need to protect them as well. So, yung transition ay dapat simulan na, [the transition should start],” he said in an interview with reporters after the hearing of Senate committee on labor.
“I think it’s very urgent na itigil natin yung pagpadala ng household service worker sa mga bansa na kagaya ng Kuwait [We should stop sending household service worker to countries like Kuwait],” he added.
Villanueva, chair of the Senate committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development, explained that the government should “analyze and evaluate countries” where the Philippines is sending household service workers.
“Ano ba yung record nila [other countries] because in Kuwait parang masyadong kumbinsido na ko na hindi na dapat [What are their records because in Kuwait I am convinced that we should not send workers there anymore],” he said.
Asked why deployment ban should be imposed for household service employees, the senator cited that some workers are being used as “commodities” by their employers.
“Because yung mga household service workers , una yung kultura ng kafala system. Kapag binayaran ng employer yung service fee ang nagiging dating sa kanila nagiging commodity ang ating mga kababayan,” he said.
(For the household service workers, the culture there is known as kafala system. If the employer provides them their service fee, the workers, who are our countrymen, are being treated as commodities.)
The “kafala system” that Villanueva stated was often referred to is being blamed for exploitation of workers.
A Kafala requires a firm that sponsors foreign workers in validation of their alien work visas and maintain their residency status.
Villanueva also noted abuses of employers to household workers including being detained in rooms or houses.
The Philippine government has already imposed a total deployment ban in Kuwait after the recent killing of Jeanalyn Villavende, who was believed to be abused by her employer.
Edited by JPV
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