Refusal to issue deployment ban to Kuwait not a ‘sign of weakness’ — DMW
MANILA, Philippines — Despite calls for a deployment ban of workers to Kuwait following the killing of Jullebee Ranara, Migrant Workers chief Susan Ople insisted on Saturday that the government’s choice not to issue a ban is not a sign of weakness.
Various senators, including Senator Jinggoy Estrada and Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva, have already called for a deployment ban after overseas Filipino worker (OFW) Ranara was killed.
READ: OFW rape-slay in Kuwait spurs new calls to halt deployment
“It should not be seen as a sign of weakness, on the part of the Philippine government, in deciding not to impose a deployment ban,” Department of Migrant Workers chief (DMW) Ople said in a press briefing with reporters.
Ople explained that they must also consider the OFWs that are currently residing in Kuwait, as a ban might cause difficulties for them.
“Another concern of ours is pag nag-impose tayo ng ban, yung mga employers na mayroong Filipino domestic workers, lalo yang hindi papayag na magpa-uwi ng kanilang kasambahay dahil alam nila walang kapalit from the Philippines, so mahihirapan tayo lalong i-extricate yung mga nangangailangan ng tulong or yung mga malapit na mag-expire yung kanilang contacts,” said Ople.
(Another concern of ours if we impose a ban is that employers with Filipino domestic workers will likely not allow their household helpers to go home because there will be no replacement from the Philippines, so it will be harder to extricate those who need help or those whose contracts are about to end).
A deployment ban may also entail bilateral issues, as it sends a message to the country of Kuwait that the Philippines is angry.
Ople believes that it is more advantageous not to issue a deployment ban just yet, as the Kuwaiti government has been cooperative throughout the process.
“The determination of the Department of Migrant Workers, and upon the advice of the Department of Foreign Affairs, we believe that it is in the national interest that we continue to pursue labor diplomacy, labor reforms, through bilateral talks, through mechanisms that have already been set up in the past for corrective actions,” said Ople.
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