Private placement agencies for Kuwait support suspension of OFW deployment

 

By Rose de la Cruz

 

Private companies under the Philippine Association of Agencies for Kuwait (PHILAAK) have expressed support to the Duterte administration’s decision to suspend deployment of Filipinos to Kuwait and to help in looking for patriots in distress situations for their repatriation to the country.

 

In a statement signed jointly by Philaak president Amanda Lalic-Araneta and Thelma Uanang, spokesperson,  said they are saddened because of “the impact on our industry sector but agree with the decision of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to suspend indefinitely the deployment of OFWs to Kuwait and to repatriate OFWs there who are in distress situations and want to return home to be with their families.”

 

         They said they are coordinating with the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).

 

         We are also in the process of formulating a set of policy and other recommendations so that the Duterte administration will have additional options on how to save our fellow Filipinos from slavery and human trafficking and be more effective in the delivery of services to OFWs not just in Kuwait but worldwide, their statement said.

 

         They said they will present these recommendations to Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III soon so we can give him our best advice for the welfare of OFWs.

 

         We are advocating for unity among all recruitment agencies and their adherence to a common standard of best and responsible practices throughout the industry.

 

Kabayan Partylist Reps. Ron Salo and Ciriaco Calalang commended the President for his swift decision to order the immediate voluntary repatriation of OFWs from Kuwait and asked the President to also immediately suspend the 2012 labor MOU of the Philippines with Kuwait in protest of the latest revealed incident of gruesome violence against a Pinay domestic helper in Kuwait.

 

In 2012, there was a new “Memorandum of Understanding Between the Government of the State of Kuwait and The Government of the Republic of the Philippines in the Field of Labor Cooperation” signed on March 23.

 

The MOU  was supposed to have a joint working group tasked to: (a) ensure the implementation of the MOU; (b) jointly review and agree on a standard employment contract (for OFWs); (c) propose revisions of the MOU as may be necessary and to resolve problems in its implementation; and, (d) study emerging employment opportunities and suggest measures of technical cooperation, training skill enhancement and to provide all the sectors with technically skilled personnel for the benefit of both parties.

 

It is very apparent now that this bilateral pact is in dire need of strengthening and if it cannot be improved, then it may have to be abandoned.

 

The Kuwait Times and the Arab Times Online both reported on the tragic fate suffered by a Filipina found dead inside a freezer in an abandoned apartment in Kuwait.

 

Perhaps, it will be good to our OFWs for our President to summon to Malacanang the Ambassador of Kuwait in order to formally explain the measures being undertaken by the Kuwait Government to protect the rights of our OFWs and why the Philippine Government should not cancel the MOU, they said.

 

 

They urged the DFA to swiftly issue a note verbale to formally serve notice to the Government of Kuwait the disappointment of the entire Philippines at how Kuwaitis have been treating their Filipino domestic helpers. 

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