THE Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and the migrant workers’ bureau of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) must make a clean breast on how many overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are being abused and in what countries are these abuses happening.
This is in the light of the President’s order to the Department of Labor (DOLE) to suspend the deployment of OFWs to Kuwait following the spate of mysterious deaths of our countrymen in the said country, including one with missing body parts.
Most of the abused OFWs are in the household service sector which should serve as yet another wake-up call to us that the Philippines needs to create more local jobs for those who are forced to take on jobs abroad as domestic helpers, etc.
If at all, we should strive to send only highly skilled workers and professionals abroad because they are less likely to be victimized owing to the nature of their work and their work environment.
At the very least, we should identify those countries which do not provide ample protection to migrant workers so we can steer OFWs away from them.