By Leslie Ann Aquino
The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) wants the order lifting the deployment ban on household service workers to Kuwait recalled.
In a statement, TUCP President Raymond Mendoza said Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello and the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) board should recall the lifting of the ban, saying justice has not yet been secured for Jeanelyn Villavende, the OFW who was brutally killed by his employers in Kuwait.
“TUCP demands that the Secretary Bello and the POEA board recall the lifting of the ban on HSWs deployment to Kuwait,” he said.
“Mr. Bello broke his word made in a Congress hearing and I vividly recall they said they would only lift the deployment ban as soon as the brutalized death of our 26-year old Jeanelyn Villavende gets the right justice. Why are they hearts callous and hands are itchy to lift the ban,” added Mendoza.
He said the DOLE and POEA are sending a political signal to Kuwait that we value the business side in the deployment of HSWs to Kuwait rather than the lives of Filipinos, and that the imposition of the ban is just for a show.
Mendoza said Bello left a bad impression for announcing the lifting of the ban in his meeting with local recruitment agencies.
“This is a disservice to our President’s advocacy for OFWs rights and welfare. It is glaring in so many instances that the DOLE/POEA places the business interest of recruiters first while the welfare of HSWs an afterthought,” he said.
With the lifting, Mendoza said officials has squandered all leverage in negotiations for better treatment and work conditions for HSWs and the fight for justice.
“Restore the ban on HSW deployment to Kuwait now!” he said.