By Vanne Elaine Terrazola
Senator Joel Villanueva lauded on Thursday the lifting of the total deployment ban of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to Kuwait.
“We welcome the President’s order to totally lift the deployment ban of overseas Filipino workers to Kuwait,” he said in a statement.
Villanueva, chair of the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment, and Human Resources Development, said he met with Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III Wednesday.
He said Bello assured that “our OFWs will have better working conditions” in the Gulf State, following the recent signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on OFW protection.
The senator said Bello also explained to him the creation of an OFW Hotline that will be available 24/7. The said hotline, he said, “is one tool to better assist our kababayans who want to seek help in Kuwait.”
Villanueva, however, reiterated his appeal to the government to “professionalize” household service workers (HSWs) and to ensure that they exercise their rights in host countries under the International Labour Organization Convention 189 on Domestic Work, in which the Philippines had actively campaigned for.
Earlier, he reminded the government that HSWs should acquire certification from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) prior to their deployment. He said recruitment agencies should be required to deploy only certified HSWs.
Villanueva said that with the MOU, “we hope that we can totally prevent abuses against our OFWs especially to our household services workers who are vulnerable to abuse.”