So said migrants rights group Migrante in reaction to the proposed banning of ‘illiterate’ household workers to Saudi Arabia by the Philippine Association of Service Exporters, Inc. (PASEI).
Accordingly PASEI put forward the proposal to the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).
“PASEI proposal is not only illogical but would left no option at all to what it called ‘illiterates’, amid the economic hardship hitting hard the poor ‘illiterates’ in the Philippines,” Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator John Leonard Monterona said in a statement to Manila Channel.
“I doubt if PASEI-member recruiters are providing or willing to train, without cost, their recruits prior to their deployment,” stressed Monterona, adding that the poor ‘illiterates’ need training and support programs instead of being excluded.
The OFW leader cited, for instance, the implementation of the new standard contract for Household Service workers (HSWs) recently signed between the Philippines and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Philippine-based recruiters, including PASEI, performs vital role in the monitoring aspect.
“Philippine recruiters must see to it that their deployed workers are receiving rightful wages, being treated well by their employers, with good living accommodation, and are not subjected to various labor malpractices and abuses.”
PH recruiters are mandated by law (RA10022) to look after their deployed workers, according to Monterona.
“Let us say, even if the intention of the new standard contract is ‘good’ but if it’s not honestly implemented, then it will defeat its purpose,” averred Monterona.
He said PASEI recruiters failed to recognize the root causes why, in the first place, millions of unemployed and underemployed Filipinos are forced to leave the country to work or look for jobs abroad.
“Band-aid solutions have been proven useless given the huge negative effect of forced migration phenomenon to overseas Filipino workers and families, and the society at large.”