‘Welfare of Overseas Filipino Workers top priority’
New mechanism stumbling block
KUWAIT CITY, April 4 : Following the virtual meeting called for by the Philippine Coalition of Agencies for Domestic Workers with the Federation of Owners of Recruitment Offices, the specialist in domestic workers affairs, Bassam Al-Shammari, revealed that during the meeting the discussion centered on developing a new mechanism for dealing with offices (after the Philippines resumes sending workers) was discussed, reports Al-Jarida daily. It has been reported the local recruiting offices will be blacklisted if OFWs recruited through the offices suffer from any kinds of problems “and their new contracts will be suspended until all the workers’ problems are resolved.”
Al-Shammari explained that this mechanism is a stumbling block to recruitment from Manila, as it will increase the suffering of the offices, which will negatively affect the number of workers in the country, indicating that such a mechanism is followed in some countries that are not committed to protecting the rights of expatriate workers. He stated that the meeting touched on discussing the views between the Kuwaiti and Filipino sides to ensure the resumption of sending new domestic workers, noting that the Philippine Alliance of Agencies expressed its full readiness for broad cooperation for the return of the process of recruiting workers from Manila.
Al-Shammari said, “Those taking part in the conference enumerated the reasons for the suspension, the most prominent of which was the recent murders that claimed the lives of some Filipino workers, in addition to the continuation of sheltering workers in a building belonging to the embassy without finding radical solutions to this outstanding problem. “This is in addition to the large number of labor disputes related to financial rights, such as irregularity in the payment of monthly salaries or the employer’s refusal to pay the end of service, and withholding the workers’ documents, including the civil ID and passport, in flagrant violation of the law and the ministerial decisions issued in this regard.”
Al-Shammari indicated that the conferees agreed on the need to notify government agencies of the observations discussed during the meeting to avoid them in the future, expecting the recruitment process to resume again by the end of next May, stressing the need to activate the role of the expatriate workers’ accommodation center affiliated to the Public Authority for Manpower, in addition to the need to oblige the deportation department of the Public Authority for Manpower to pay the expenses of workers’ travel to their countries, especially in light of the overcrowding of workers at the embassy.
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