House bloc seeks probe into PH gov’t efforts to protect Kuwait OFWs | Inquirer News

House bloc seeks probe into PH gov’t efforts to protect Kuwait OFWs

By: - Reporter / @BPinlacINQ
/ 11:26 AM January 27, 2023



MANILA, Philippines — The Makabayan bloc from the House of Representatives has filed a resolution urging the lower chamber’s committee on overseas workers’ affairs to look into the Philippine government’s efforts to protect overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Kuwait. 

House Resolution No. 726, filed by the progressive bloc on Thursday, cited the brutal killing of Kuwait-based OFW Jullebee Ranara and reports of more than 400 distressed OFWs “stranded and cramped” in government facilities in the Middle Eastern country. 


Ranara, a 35-year-old household service worker, was reportedly killed by the 17-year-old son of her employer. Her burned remains were found in a desert in Kuwait.


“Ranara’s death and the plight of hundreds of OFWs in Kuwait serve as another reminder of the huge social costs of migrant development and as a wake-up call for the national government to abandon the labor export paradigm and start focusing on generating decent jobs at home,” the lawmakers said. 

They pointed out that Ranara “is alarmingly the fourth Filipina who suffered a gruesome death at the hands of Kuwaiti employers in recent years.” 

“Such series of brutal killings of OFWs in Kuwait persisted despite the imposition of temporary deployment bans and despite the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the deployment of migrant workers between the Philippines and Kuwait in 2018,” the Makabayan bloc said. 

With this in mind, their resolution–authored by ACT Teachers Rep. France Castro, Gabriela Rep. Arlene Brosas and Kabataan Rep. Raoul Manuel–said that “at the minimum, there is a need to review the MOU between the Philippines and Kuwait, which expired in 2022, and to scrap the highly exploitative kafala system in several countries, including Kuwait.” 

The kafala system requires migrant workers to have a sponsor in the country of employment to secure a visa and worker’s permit.

This allows employers to control the employment and migration status of foreign workers. 


“Ranara’s death must put the spotlight on the immediate ratification of International Labour (ILO) Convention 190 on ending violence and harassment in the world of work, and of the enactment of laws that will strengthen protection for women workers in various settings,” they added. 

If the House resolution is adopted, the investigation of the House panel will call for the cooperation of “responsible officials directly assuming the function of protecting our OFWs in Kuwait.” 

RELATED STORIES: OFW rape-slay in Kuwait spurs new calls to halt deployment

CHR slams killing of OFW in Kuwait, says ‘one death is too many’

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OFW burden grows heavier as relief, justice fall through system gaps

TAGS: House of Representatives, Kuwait, OFW

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