Philippines parliament discuss domestic workers ban on countries practicing 'sponsorship' system
In the Philippines parliament discussion began to ban sending Filipino domestic workers who practiced a sponsorship system which was a clear reference to Kuwait and other Middle East countries.
Senate Minority Leader, Aquilino Martin de la Llana Pimentel III put forward a proposal in parliament during open session. Parliamentarian Ravi Tolvo reviewed the report on alleged abuse of Filipino maids abroad. In the context of the report, Tolvo presented a video in which Filipino domestic workers working in Kuwait and other Gulf countries appeared crying out and explaining their suffering due to harassment, physical and psychological abuse, and not giving them their regular wages.
Parliamentary debates heated up after Senator Pimentel angrily asked “Now, after seeing this report, should we decide in the future to ban sending our domestic workers to certain other countries, especially those that practice the sponsorship system? Every mistake and every unfortunate incident of abuse leads to the destruction of the life of a Filipino.”
Number of Senators quickly supported Pimentels proposal. Senator Tolvo recommended that the procedures should begin with a strict policy on violations of Philippine agencies specialized in the deportation and employment of immigrant workers. “Once an agency has been found guilty of abuse, it should be disregarded immediately,” he added. I will work to ensure that the owners of these agencies do not ever conduct business even in new names.”
Ministers called up to intensify coordination and cooperation efforts with the governments of “sponsorship countries” in order to provide greater protection for Filipino domestic workers. Senator Alan Peter Cayetano said that “the performance of members of the Philippine diplomatic missions operating in those countries should also be monitored.