During a session the Philippines Senate was told that Filipino workers cannot wait for the Kuwaiti government to institute a stricter vetting process for employers (sponsors) in the wake of the murder of domestic worker Jollibee Ranara.
Arabic daily Al Rai reported that Senator Raffy Tolfo said during a parliamentary hearing, “The relevant recruitment agencies should establish and impose a stricter vetting process on employers (sponsors) in order to avoid mistreatment of Filipino labour.
There must also be prior guidance to sponsors before they are allowed to hire Filipinos. This directive should teach them the importance of respecting Filipino culture and traditions.
Meanwhile, Senator Jingwe Estrada, Chairman of the Senate Labor Committee, stressed on “the need to find a mechanism to regularly check the safety of Filipino workers,” noting that “employers must be examined to ensure more reassurance for our workers that they will not end up in the hands of exploitative individuals.”
He went on to say, “For this reason, I would like to recommend to the Ministry of Migrant Labor to impose a comprehensive ban on sending Filipino workers to the State of Kuwait.”
“Our efforts to sign the treaty will be futile if we cannot give it more claws,” said Council Vice President Lauren Legarda.
In her intervention, Senator Cynthia Villar, an advocate for Filipino labor, said that there are “other opportunities” in the Philippines that Filipinos can take advantage of because “the salary in Kuwait is not much anyway.”
Senator Christopher Go urged the government to “conduct a comprehensive study of Filipino employment policies and procedures and ensure that Filipino migrant workers are protected,” while Senator Risa Hontiveros said that “the government should protect all of its citizens who choose to work abroad.”