By Leslie Aquino
The Federation of Free Workers on Thursday supported the total deployment ban of Filipino workers to Kuwait sating it is called for and necessary.
“The FFW fully supports the ban for Kuwait bound workers. It is called for and necessary to show that our workers are not slaves but have human dignity to be universally respected and protected,” Atty. Sonny Matula, FFW president, said in a press briefing in Manila.
“We said it before and we say it again, individual Filipino domestic worker like Jeanelyn has dignity and worth like any royal prince of the tribes of Kuwait,” he added.
Matula was referring to Jeanelyn Villavende, the Filipino worker who died in Kuwait recently.
The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration on Wednesday already approved a resolution imposing a total deployment ban to Kuwait due to Villavende’s death.
The ban came after the autopsy report of the National Bureau of Investigation revealed that 26-year old Villavende was raped before her employers beat her to death. It was also found that she had suffered from past physical abuse before her unfortunate death in December 2019.
“The action is appropriate. We cannot continue to sacrifice the lives of our workers to the altar of Kuwait in exchange of foreign employment,” said Matula.
“The constitutional mandate on full protection to labor, local or overseas, includes banning of deployment overseas as not to be exploited, abused and being killed,” he added.
Matula said the deaths of Joanna Demafelis, Irma Avila Edloy and Josie Lloren, Ma Constancoa Dayag and Villavende , who all died due to abuse sustained while they worked as domestic helpers abroad, were more that compelling arguments to justify that the status quo is not an option.
“We need to act now and rightly so, total deployment ban of OFW to Kuwait and we hope to other countries that do not respect the dignity of our workers.” he said.