ALARMING, saddening and disturbing are reports that the number of Filipinos being deployed overseas as domestic helpers or household service workers (HSWs) continues to increase.
This, despite the fact that the Duterte administration’s intention has always been to create more high-paying jobs in the country to meet the employment needs of the burgeoning population.
It is public knowledge that hundreds of thousands of our overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), particularly female HSWs, live and work under vulnerable conditions across the world.
Expressing dismay over the increase, Senator Cynthia A. Villar, wife of former Senate President Manuel Villar, asked: “Why are we sending more domestic workers now more than ever before?”
Instead, Villar said: “We should focus our attention more in offering woman workers decent local jobs rather than facilitating their deployment to foreign households under slave-like conditions.”
Last year, the country almost breached the 300,000-mark in terms of newly-hired migrant domestic workers, according to Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) records.
During the 12-month period, POEA records also showed that the Philippines deployed 275,073 first-time domestic workers overseas, compared to 194,835 in 2015 and 183,101 in 2014.
At the same time, Villar called on the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Labor and Employment to boost welfare protection for OFWs, notably domestic workers.
With the increasing number of OFWs languishing in foreign jails, concerned authorities, including our lawmakers, would do well to review the country’s overseas employment program.
Panahon na para tigilan na ang pag-export ng mga babaing kasambahay, lalo na sa mga bansang maraming inaabusong kababayan natin.