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Rape-murder of OFW Ranara an eyeopener — TUCP

February 5, 2023 Jester P. Manalastas 437 views

THE brutal death of another overseas Filipino worker in Kuwait should be an eye opener for the government to expedite the implementation of policies that would protect Filipino workers abroad, particularly in Kuwait.

The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) condemned the murder of Jullebee Ranra, 35, who was raped, beaten to death, rammed with a car, burned, and left dead in the desert by the son of her employer in Kuwait.

Deputy Speaker TUCP Rep. Democrito Mendoza said the government should do more to make this the last death of an OFW in Kuwait and elsewhere in the world.

“As the largest labor center in the country representing workers across different sectors, including our OFWs around the world, the TUCP urges the adoption of some concrete courses of action to ensure Jullebee’s death will not be in vain,” Mendoza said.

The group called for the speedy resolution of Ranara case as it urged the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to should fast-track their coordination with the Kuwait Government.

Likewise the group stressed that the Kuwait-Philippines Joint Technical Committee must be convened to hammer down and agree upon an enhanced Standard Employment Contract for Filipino Household Service Workers which will ensure the proper implementation and monitoring of clear-cut provisions that allow OFWs to keep their passports and contact devices and specify their work, sleep, and rest hours alongside leave days, among others.

“The new and better bilateral agreement must be premised on the total abolition of the modern form of slavery called the Kafala system,” Mendoza also said.

The group also asked for a whole-of-government approach to fast-track the establishment of a fully operational digital OFW command center that will serve as a one-stop shop for all OFW concerns, especially repatriation, rescue hotlines, and blacklisting system of non-compliant recruitment agencies and entities that are involved in human trafficking, among others.

“We urge the government to seriously review and reform our OFW deployment policies by upgrading our capacity-building of OFWs so that they are better informed of their rights and avenues for complaints and requests for rescue; ensuring that help desks in our diplomatic offices are proactive and accessible to the pleas of our OFWs; and establishing a task force to comprehensively review what is weak and wrong about our deployment policy and recommend critical corrective measures.

“The most urgent concerns are spearheaded by the need to assess the conditions of government shelters for distressed OFWs, review and implement the fair and ethical recruitment action plan, and contemplate on deployment ban to nations that are yet to ratify International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention No. 189: Domestic Workers Convention of 2011 which the Philippines ratified in 2012,” the TUCP said.

But in 2019, OFWs Constancia Lago Dayag and Jeanelyn Villavende were also killed, triggering a total deployment ban on OFWs to Kuwait at the beginning of 2020 which was quickly lifted in February of the same year after murder charges were filed against Villavende’s employers.