President Rodrigo Duterte wants to impose a total ban on the deployment of overseas Filipino workers, particularly household workers to Kuwait following reports of sexual abuses.
“We have lost about four Filipino women in the last few months. It’s always in Kuwait. My advice is either we talk to them, tell them it’s not acceptable, or we impose total ban,” Duterte said during the launching of the Overseas Filipino Bank.
He said four Filipino workers in Kuwait were “lost” but he did not explain the reason or the identities of the OFWs.
Even the Department of Labor and Employment is studying the matter to suspend or ban the deployment to Kuwait because of many incidents of abuses committed by Kuwaiti employers on Filipino workers.
In his speech, Duterte said he does not want to quarrel with Kuwait but respect their leaders.
“I respect their leaders but they have to do something about this, [the abuses committed against Filipino workers]” he said.
Kuwait has the largest concentration of domestic helpers or household service workers and by statistics Kuwait also has the highest incidents of abuses, according to DoLE records.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III has advised Filipinos to avoid seeking jobs abroad countries where incidents of abuse are rampant.
DoLE also made an assurance that they are not neglecting any OFWs facing charges abroad.
Meanwhile, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration warned Filipinos seeking work in Japan from offers of employment in Japan using “tourist-to-refugee” recruitment scheme that could put Filipinos at risk of abuse and white slavery.
The Office of the Undersecretary of Migrant Workers Affairs (OUMWA) of the Department of Foreign Affairs has requested the POEA to investigate a possible case of illegal recruitment or trafficking in persons involving a syndicate operating in Saitama Prefecture.
According to repots, a certain “Mara” through social media entices job applicants to enter Japan using tourist visa and instruct them to apply for refugee visa at the Immigration Bureau of Japan for employment purposes.
The report also said a broker based in Manila prepares fake documents such as certificate of employment and bank statement for the applicant’s visa application.
“The syndicate allegedly charges P55,000.00 to P95,000.00 per applicant for the supposed services,” the POEA said in a statement.
The POEA said the recruitment scheme is unlawful and warned applicants to deal only with recruiters with valid license from the government. Applicants may look for licensed recruitment agencies and approved job orders at the POEA website’s verification system or the POEA app using smart phones.