By Leslie Ann Aquino
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People is in favor of totally banning the deployment of Filipino household service workers in countries where their rights are not protected and respected.
“It is high time to say ‘NO’ to those countries where our OFWs are not protected and respected, but are abused and used,” ECMI chairman Ruperto Santos said in a statement.
The Balanga prelate said the total ban is a “preventive measure” against human violations and loss of lives.
“Our OFWs are human persons, not their properties. They have equal rights and dignity to be respected and promoted. And thus not to be treated as tools for profits, nor as slave workers,” said Santos.
A total ban, the Balanga prelate said would also send a “strong message” that we really care for our OFWs and that we are completely concerned for them.
The ECMI head then expressed the commission’s support to Senate Resolution No. 676.
“We, at CBCP ECMI, support the Senate Resolution #676 for the total deployment ban of our Filipino household workers to countries that do not afford the same rights and working conditions as their nationals,” Santos said.
“This is a call for the protection of their well-being and welfare, promotion of their rights and upholding their dignity,” he added.
The rights of OFWs, Santos said must include personal possession and upkeep of their passports, owning and using their cell phones, having days-off and rest hours, and no substitutions of contracts.