It was only a few years ago when the Arroyo administration issued a total deployment ban to Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Qatar and Iraq because of “unstable security conditions”. Fast-forward to the present. The Arroyo administration has now lifted the deployment ban claiming that the security conditions have “improved”. But has the protection of labor and human rights of migrant workers improved as well?
BY JANESS ANN J. ELLAO
It was only a few years ago when the Arroyo administration issued a total deployment ban to Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Qatar and Iraq because of “unstable security conditions.” But aside from the unstable security conditions, many overseas Filipinos workers (OFWs) deployed in these countries had suffered from contract substitution, inhuman working conditions, and different types of abuses; some even died.
Migrante International chairperson Gary Martinez recalled that the problem of physical abuse being inflicted on OFWs in Jordan used to be so grave that Filipinos used to assume that workers who do not have a broken leg do not belong to the Filipino community in Jordan.
Fast-forward to the present. The Arroyo administration has now lifted the deployment ban claiming that the security conditions have “improved”. But has the protection of labor and human rights of migrant workers improved as well?
Unresolved cases of abuse
Martinez insisted that the supposed improvement in the security conditions in these countries should not be the only ground for lifting the ban because there are many cases of abuses of OFWs in the Middle East that have not yet been resolved.
Martinez said that the ban should not have been lifted at all because there are still no bilateral labor agreements between the Philippines and countries in the Middle East. These bilateral agreements should be able to protect OFWs from all forms of abuse.
Last April 1, an article published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer quoted Foreign Undersecretary Esteban Conejos, Jr. as saying that the government is already in the process of finalizing a bilateral labor agreement. However, John Monterona, Migrante-Middle East coordinator, recently told Bulatlat that they have already challenged the concerned government offices to show them the draft of the bilateral labor agreement. Apparently, said Monterona, there was none.
Martinez also said that he is disappointed to hear that the Arroyo administration is still pushing for its labor export policy. “Ito ba ay naipangako na wala nang maaabuso?” (Can they promise that there will be no more cases of abuses?) he asked.
It iwas a welcome for thousands of dometic helpers that has always become the victims of brutality and harassment by their employers and our government is pushing these women to work while the man stays at home and enjoy the life drinking and womanizing?? Iraq is a very big country and some areas are safe to work for construction and skilled Filipinos why dont they allow these MEN OF THE HOUSE to be the one to support their families??? IF IRAQ is dangerous then why these people from other foreign land are here enjoying the benefits of everything???mostly europeans,americans, french, canadians, germans, danish, koreans, chinese, indians, bangladesh, lebanese, turkish,Russians, Some of these people are investors and they need skilled Filipino workers aside from Nepalese and thailanders, indians chinese, eutopians and srilankans?? Kurdistan is a region in Iraq where Oil, Electricity, Water, Education and Health is the priority of Kurdish government to expand and they need skilled workers… our MEN,, instead of sending DOMESTIC HELPERS to be raped abused, and become Sex slave by their employers,,, I have witness a lot of these suffering of our women and i know how they live they live their lives with other families, specially the unfortunate ones. I have been a witness to some of these…We been in Saudi for 3 years, Oman for 4 years, UAE for 4 years, Jordan for 4 years, Lebanon, kuwait, Qatar, you name this Gulf and Middle East Countries and i will tell you how our poor domestic helpers earn their money to send home to their useles husbands (some) and children who think that money is harvested in the streets…those who have luck with their employers, enjoy liberty but spend with whom?? with other men..This is the life of our poor domestic helpers… the other side is hell for the Unfortunate ones and the other side is paradise with different men..(away from the eyes of their families.. (shame!) Noli De Castro and the rest of you who are exploiting our Filipino women please i beg you reconsider this as i am telling you the truth, dont interview these DH, Interview other nationalities who have witness our people suffering from the hands of their employers, Ask some priest, nuns, social workers and if you want come and see for yourself, come in Jordan, UAE, Saudi and the rest of the middleeastern countries, visit embassies, Disco houses, bars and accomodations of Cleaners and tell me if i am just making up these stories… STOP sending domestic helpers. SEND THEIR HUSBANDS FOR JOBS INSTEAD OF THESE WOMEN, MILLIONS OF INDIAN LABORS ARE HERE working to support their families why dont we do the same??? Bangladeshi, Nepalese, Srilankans…why these Men do labor works and leave wife and children home??? Their BALLS are between their LEGS, While the husbands of these filipino domestic Helpers, their balls are somewhere betweeen other womans legs and this is the truth. I am sorry to say but I find these Indian Labor more dignified than Filipio men who have no guts but to sit at home…..and drink and drink and let their wives work for other families and for other men….AMEN