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Thursday, February 11, 2010

OFWs told to report abusive employers




The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is looking into the veracity of a report alleging that some Filipino household service workers (HSWs) have been maltreated by their employers in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. 


Labor and Employment Secretary Marianito D. Roque said there was no mention of the real name of the HSW cited in the report.  However, he instructed Riyadh-based Labor Attache Rustico dela Fuente to determine which particular case the report was referring to.


Roque also took the opportunity to call on overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their families to contact the nearest Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) or the DOLE and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) in the Philippines for assistance in all cases of abuse and exploitation that the OFWs may encounter in the hands of their employers onsite. 


He asked the OFWs' families, in case their kin suffer abuses in their jobs abroad, to contact and coordinate with DOLE and OWWA rather than with certain groups which apparently are just using complaints against OFW abuses and exploitation to advance their propaganda and vested interests.


Distressed OFWs onsite must also immediately contact the nearest POLO for assistance, Roque said.


Seeking other groups would only delay assistance as these groups will also refer the cases of distressed OFWs to DOLE and OWWA, he said adding that it will be more beneficial to OFWs and their kin to directly contact the two agencies for needed assistance.


In a similar development, Roque said efforts have been set in place to improve the delivery of services to OFWs onsite.


He said the Foreign Labor Operations Information System (FLOIS) will soon be implemented to improve the management and operations of 38 POLOs in various destinations overseas, particularly in extending assistance to needy OFWs onsite.  The system will be integrated with the DOLE's Information Systems Plan.


FLOIS, Roque said, will provide Internet-based information on profiles of OFW and their foreign employers and a listing of local and foreign recruitment agencies. 


The DOLE's International Labor Affairs Bureau and the Planning Service have been directed during the recent DOLE-wide planning sessions to complete the FLOIS project early this year to facilitate the provision of assistance and services to OFWs.

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