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Friday, January 27, 2017

Secretary Bello Went to Kuwait to Tackle Proposed Ban of Kasambahay Recruitment

In the wake of OFW Jakatia Pawa's execution last Wednesday, an HSW in Kuwait who  allegedly killed her employer's 22 year-old daughter, a call for the moratorium on sending Filipino HSW in the Middle East has been a cry for different OFW groups. Department of Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello III is now in Kuwait to tackle  the proposed moratorium on sending Filipino HSWs. Bello arrived in Kuwait on Thursday, a day after OFW Pawa was executed. He went there to check on another OFW in the death row, Elpidio Lano. He was  given a death sentence for killing a fellow Filipino, Nilo Macaranas on June 17, 2014.   "I’m here on the instruction of President Duterte to know why Lano is on the death row and how we can help and save him. It also gave me a reason to look into the administrative lapse in the operation of our POLO office. Because we are all shocked, we learned about the execution (of Jakatia Pawa) on the very day that she will be executed. We were never aware that there were OFWs who are on death row,” Bello said.  From the Airport, Bello proceeded to the Philippine Embassy to meet embassy officials led by Ambassador Renato Pedro Villa, as well as the POLO-OWWA officials in Kuwait.      “I’m also here to personally check on the status of OFWs in Kuwait and the distressed OFWs in the POLO-OWWA shelter. I have also asked Attache Cesar Chavez Jr to go around the POLO offices in the Middle East in the next two weeks and check on the list of Filipinos in the jail or on death row so we can find ways to help them,” Bello added.  The call for moratorium or temporary suspension of sending HSWs to Kuwait has been discussed with Villa and his team. “There has been a call to suspend or call for moratorium for quite a time now due to the high incidence harassment, maltreatment. It is time for me to make a serious study, consultation and come up with a decision,” Bello stated, stressing that the proposed moratorium should be seriously considered.   He also said that in a matter of time,the Philippine Government will decide on the proposed moratorium.  “There’s already a tentative decision but it may not be a good timing if we do it now because it may be perceived by the Kuwaiti government as a retaliatory move, hence, we have to do it at a proper timing,” assures Bello.   In accordance with this, Villa disclosed that he made an endorsement of the said moratorium to  Manila January last year and made a follow-upin September of the same year. Aside from  initial talks, nothing has happened until now.   “It’s about time that such action be implemented so both parties, Kuwait and the Philippines should talk due to the increasing number of runaway maids as well as the continuous deployment of household service workers who most of them become victims of various forms of abuses prompting them to escape from their employers and run to the embassy shelter,” Villa said.  “We are appealing to President Duterte to hear our plea for a moratorium! How many more Jakatia Pawa have to suffer the same fate?”  Mary Ann Abunda, the founder of Sandigan, an OFW advocacy group in Kuwait said.  Around 158,000 HSWs are working in Kuwait,  about more than half of around 250,000 OFWs working there. Kuwait has the highest number of distressed OFWs housed in the POLO-OWWA Shelter and Kuwait Migrant Workers Shelter in the Middle East.   Source: Arab Times



In the wake of OFW Jakatia Pawa's execution last Wednesday, an HSW in Kuwait who  allegedly killed her employer's 22 year-old daughter, a call for the moratorium on sending Filipino HSW in the Middle East has been, once again, a cry of different OFW groups in social media.

Department of Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello III went to Kuwait to tackle  the proposed moratorium on sending Filipino HSWs.
Bello arrived in Kuwait on Thursday, a day after OFW Pawa was executed. He went there to check on another OFW in the death row, Elpidio Lano. He was  given a death sentence for killing a fellow Filipino, Nilo Macaranas on June 17, 2014.


"I’m here on the instruction of President Duterte to know why Lano is on the death row and how we can help and save him. It also gave me a reason to look into the administrative lapse in the operation of our POLO office. Because we are all shocked, we learned about the execution (of Jakatia Pawa) on the very day that she will be executed. We were never aware that there were OFWs who are on death row,” Bello said.

From the Airport, Bello proceeded to the Philippine Embassy to meet embassy officials led by Ambassador Renato Pedro Villa, as well as the POLO-OWWA officials in Kuwait.




“I’m also here to personally check on the status of OFWs in Kuwait and the distressed OFWs in the POLO-OWWA shelter. I have also asked Attache Cesar Chavez Jr to go around the POLO offices in the Middle East in the next two weeks and check on the list of Filipinos in the jail or on death row so we can find ways to help them,” Bello added.




The call for moratorium or temporary suspension of sending HSWs to Kuwait has been discussed with Villa and his team.


“There has been a call to suspend or call for moratorium for quite a time now due to the high incidence harassment, maltreatment. It is time for me to make a serious study, consultation and come up with a decision,” Bello stated, stressing that the proposed moratorium should be seriously considered.

He also said that in a matter of time,the Philippine Government will decide on the proposed moratorium.


“There’s already a tentative decision but it may not be a good timing if we do it now because it may be perceived by the Kuwaiti government as a retaliatory move, hence, we have to do it at a proper timing,” assures Bello.


In accordance with this, Villa disclosed that he made an endorsement of the said moratorium to  Manila January last year and made a follow-up in September of the same year. Aside from  initial talks, nothing has happened until now.


“It’s about time that such action be implemented so both parties, Kuwait and the Philippines should talk due to the increasing number of runaway maids as well as the continuous deployment of household service workers who most of them become victims of various forms of abuses prompting them to escape from their employers and run to the embassy shelter,” Villa said.


“We are appealing to President Duterte to hear our plea for a moratorium! How many more Jakatia Pawa have to suffer the same fate?” Mary Ann Abunda, the founder of Sandigan, an OFW advocacy group in Kuwait said.


Around 158,000 HSWs are working in Kuwait,  about more than half of around 250,000 OFWs working there. 

 Kuwait has the highest number of distressed OFWs housed in the POLO-OWWA Shelter and Kuwait Migrant Workers Shelter in the Middle East.

Source: Arab Times

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