Following the heinous crime committed to Kuwait OFW Jullebee Ranara, Senator Jinggoy Estrada suggested another deployment ban on OFWs. However, the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) strongly opposed it.
It can be recalled that the remains of the 35-year old OFW was found in the desert of Kuwait. She was allegedly raped and impregnated by the 17-year-old son of her employer.
According to Estrada, the chairman of Senate labor, employment and human resources development committed, there are already a lot of cases of maltreatment of OFWs in Kuwait.
“Ako nanggigigil ako dito sa bansang Kuwait sapagkat sa dami kong nababalitaan, and it is also recorded, marami na ho talagang pang-a-abuso na ginagawa itong mga amo nitong ating mga OFW,” says Estrada.
“That’s why, I want to recommend to the Department of Migrant Workers to ban our OFWs from working in the state of Kuwait,” he added.
The senator also said that despite the agreement between Kuwait and Philippines to protect the welfare of OFWs, there are still a lot of OFWs being maltreated in Kuwait and some even lose their lives.
“Gustuhin man nating itrato ito bilang isang isolated case, hindi natin maikakaila na ang Kuwait ay isa sa mga bansa na may mataas na kaso ng pang-aabuso at pagkamatay ng ating mga OFW,” says the Sen. Estrada.
Estrada wants the DMW and DFA to develop a mechanism that will help monitor the situation of OFWs and to filter their employers.
The senator also recommended to remove the “Kafala” system which results to modern slavery on OFWs. Under the “Kafala” system, the foreign workers needs permission from the local employer if she choses to leave or change employers.
Estrada also proposed that OFWs should only be working on countries with Domestic Workers Convention of International Labour Organization signatory.
However, DMW secretary Toots Ople said that she is against the deployment ban to be implemented once again. According to her, it wasn’t the Kuwaiti government’s fault that the heinous crime took place.
“Brutal, hindi dahil gustong gawin ng Kuwaiti government. Brutal dahil halimaw yung anak ng employer. For whatever reason, walang bansa o walang matinong tao that would welcome such behavior. Now, should we condemn the kuwaiti government sa kagagawan ng anak ng employer? I think those are two separate things,” said Ople.
Moreover, the Kuwaiti government made swift actions that led to the capture of the 17-year-old suspect.
“Ang nakikita namin on the ground, mabilis umaksyon yung Kuwaiti government sa pag-aresto don at sa ngayon, malapit na masakdal for the crime,” she added.