By Jennifer C. Tilos
The Department of Foreign Affairs-Regional Consular Office (DFA-RCO) in Dumaguete City has warned would-be overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from Negros Oriental against the menace of illegal recruitment during its gender and development (GAD) activity.
The occasion, RCO Head Reynold Banda said, is meant to provide information and promoting awareness on illegal recruitment through a film-showing on the life of an OFW held recently.
This is also comes after the RCO received complaints on gender-related issues from some Negrenses in Middle East.
Banda reported, “A family came to the office to seek assistance to rescue their OFW, a household worker in Kuwait who called them and ask for help that she be repatriated back here for she could no longer bear the plight she experienced being passed on from one household/sibling-employer to another household-employer to do the household works.”
Banda contacted and coordinated with the embassy in Kuwait for assistance to bring the Filipina domestic helper from Negros Oriental to the shelter home and facilitate her repatriation.
DFA official said the problem with some recruitment agencies wouldn’t take any responsibility anymore after an OFW is in distress and in this case the worker should only have one employer.
However, another case of a Filipino worker from the municipality of Amlan, which the DFA failed to mention the name, working in East Timor was repatriated due to sickness or medical health reason.
Banda said an OFW from Saudi Arabia was sent back home here in the province due to his death from hypertension and the human remains arrived last February.
“For this activity we chose the topic on illegal recruitment because this is now the issue that provides more problems to our OFWs as this screening entails a lot of sacrifices to an OFW who was a victim of an illegal recruitment,” the DFA official said.
The DFA is trying to provide mechanism to lessen the impact of illegal recruitment in support of the existing law Republic Act 10022 or the Migrant Workers Act.
However, Banda said that despite of the law protecting the OFWs against illegal recruiters there are still some individuals taking advantage of the situation, having this crisis happen in the Middle East particularly in Kuwait where there are a lot of Filipinos who were repatriated but looking again for job opportunities abroad.
The DFA-RCO Dumaguete conducts GAD activities for two years now which promote gender and development issues for the benefit of Filipino workers abroad.