Total deployment ban to Kuwait urged

January 29, 2023 People's Journal 198 views

SENATOR Raffy Tulfo proposed a total deployment ban of Filipino workers in Kuwait following the reported murder of domestic helper Jullebee Ranara.

Tulfo, Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Migrant Workers, waited for the arrival of the remains of Ranara at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Friday night, Jan. 27.

The burnt body of Ranara, who was working in Kuwait as a domestic helper, was reportedly found at a desert in Salmi, Al-Jahra Governorate last weekend.

The Senator from Isabela and Davao maintained that bilateral talks between Philippines and Kuwait could push through after a deployment ban, but with consideration to Philippines’ terms and conditions.

Among the conditions that Tulfo noted includes requiring tight screening process and psychiatric exam for employers on high-risk countries, as well as members of their household, to ensure that they are fit to hire OFWs in their homes.

It can be noted that while Ranara’s employers supposedly treated her well, her employers’ 17-year-old son, who was part of the household, purportedly maltreated her. The same son is the suspect in her death and is now under police custody.

As a start, Tulfo suggested to gradually pull out OFWs in Kuwait and send them instead to work in places where OFWs are properly compensated and treated with respect, like Guam.

Guam is a new market for OFWs currently needing thousands of skilled workers. In fact, Guam, a United States Territory, reportedly prefers to hire more Filipino workers.

Aside from Guam, the government can also explore sending OFWs in Kuwait to work in other safer places, including Romania, Austria and HongKong.

Likewise, while he has high respects for different culture, Tulfo added the need to require employers to ensure that the OFWs they hired would not suffer because of their traditions, including fasting during Ramadan.

Every Ramadan, Tulfo learned that some OFWs suffered from hunger. Out of respect for their tradition, the Senator said OFWs should, at the vey least, be allowed to eat in a separate room.

Ultimately, Tulfo said the Kuwait government should issue a public apology to the Filipinos considering the death of Ranara and other Filipino workers killed by or due to their employers in Kuwait.

Notably, Ranara is not the first OFW to be killed in Kuwait. The Philippines had earlier imposed a labor deployment ban to Kuwait after the gruesome deaths of several Filipino domestic workers.

The ban was eventually lifted, after the two countries signed a protection agreement for Filipino workers in Kuwait.

Earlier, upon learning of Ranara’s death, Tulfo sent his staff to meet with the parents of the Filipina domestic helper not only to check on their condition amid this great loss but also to give an initial financial assistance from his personal funds to address their immediate needs.

Tulfo said he will extend all the possible assistance he could give to support the bereaved family’s needs, including scholarish for Ranara’s two children.