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Let’s protect OFWs

Dept. of OFW

THE government is being called upon to prove that it is committed to ensure that the world’s manpower-importing nations protect the welfare of our overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

This, it will do by reviewing the protocols on the deployment of OFWs, citing official data which showed that the most abused migrants are household service workers (HSWs)

Reports said that government data showed that at least 56 percent of Filipino workers eking out a living in foreign lands, including the oil-rich Middle East (ME), are women.

Years ago, there were attempts to prohibit the export of female HSWs because “sila yong madalas nakakaranas ng pang-aabuso sa kamay ng mga malulupit na employers.

Of course, the proposed ban met strong opposition because of the acute shortage of employment opportunities and the insultingly low pay of workers in the Philippines.

Today, however, some quarters now want the government to stop the export of female domestic helpers considering the skyrocketing number of problematic OFWs.

In 2020, 4,302 cases of maltreatment and mistreatment were recorded in the ME, while contract violations numbered 21,127 cases in the same region, said Sen. Joel Villanueva.

Villanueva, chairman of the Senate committee on labor, bared the figures at the resumption of the public hearings on the proposed creation of the Department of Overseas Filipinos

Thus, we cannot overemphasize the importance of creating the proposed department while the government continues to depend on the manpower export industry to meet the employment needs of the people.

It’s a move in the right direction.