If there is no memorandum of agreement between our country and the accepting countries, then it is foolhardy to deploy our workers overseas because they will not be protected,” Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said.
Joven Cagande
DOLE open to total ban on Middle East maids
Mayen Jaymalin (The Philippine Star) - March 28, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) supports Senate Resolution No. 676 seeking a total ban on the deployment of Filipino household service workers (HSWs) in countries not providing similar rights and work conditions as their nationals.

“If there is no memorandum of agreement between our country and the accepting countries, then it is foolhardy to deploy our workers overseas because they will not be protected,” Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said.

Bello said the DOLE will not hesitate to stop deployment in countries not giving enough protection to Filipino workers like what happened in Kuwait.

He said the DOLE and Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) are working closely to review existing bilateral agreements with countries employing Filipinos.

“The DOLE and the DFA met two weeks ago to study the template for new bilateral agreements to provide better protection for our workers,” Bello said.

Concerning the deployment ban in Kuwait, Bello said he is not inclined to recommend the lifting of the ban on domestic workers’ deployment even after the proposed agreement with Kuwait is signed in April.

The DOLE imposed a total deployment ban after the body of Filipina domestic helper Joanna Demafelis was found stuffed inside a freezer in an abandoned apartment in Kuwait.

The labor chief expressed hope that the agreement could provide better working conditions for Filipinos in Kuwait.

Bello said the deployment ban will be lifted only after the Kuwait government has ensured justice for the death of Demafelis.

Demafelis’ employers have been arrested, but are yet to be extradited to Kuwait.

“They have to face the consequences of their action, mere detention is not a penalty,” Bello said.

In the resolution last week, the deaths of Demafelis, Irma Avila Edloy and Josie Lloren, who all died due to abuse sustained while they worked as domestic helpers abroad, were cited to justify the call for total deployment ban of HSWs in some countries.

Bello said he sees no need to ban the deployment of domestic workers in all countries except for those that are not treating Filipinos fairly.

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT OVERSEAS FILIPINO WORKERS
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