DMW defers action on contracts of Kuwait-bound first-time OFW domestic workers until more safeguards are in place for their protection and welfare
Migrant Workers Secretary Susan Ople said that the application of first-time migrant workers specifically for household services in Kuwait shall be deferred until after significant reforms have been made resulting from upcoming bilateral talks with the said country.
“Yung mga baguhan, never before nagwork as kasambahays abroad or yung nagwork as kasambahays pero hindi sa Kuwait ay kailangan maghintay muna dahil nais tiyakin ng department na may mas maayos na monitoring at mas mabilis na response system in place bago sila tumungo doon,” Ople said.
This position was also shared by Acting Secretary Maria Anthonette Velasco-Allones before the Senate committee on OFW affairs chaired by Senator Raffy Tulfo.
Ople, who is now in Tokyo to assist President Marcos in his meeting with Japanese shipowners, said that Filipinos wishing to work abroad as domestic workers have several countries to choose from and thus, should not worry about the new advisory coming from the DMW.
“Hong Kong remains a strong alternative and is much nearer to home, and we also have Singapore where we have very good relations with our counterpart ministry,” Ople added.
She remains optimistic that significant changes can still be made to the existing bilateral labor agreement that the Philippines has with Kuwait.
“Why not just impose a total deployment ban? Because there are actual OFWs who have already worked in Kuwait for several years who still want to go back to their old employers or seek new ones. We have also been informed through diplomatic channels of the willingness of the Kuwait government to engage in bilateral labor talks. We are preparing well in advance for these talks, bringing with us an accumulation of abuse done over the years, hence the need for significant changes,” Ople said.