MANILA President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Thursday ordered the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to enhance their efforts against the illegal recruitment of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in the Middle East.
Recalling his experience as Davao City mayor, Duterte shared a story about three young Filipino women being illegally recruited to work to death every day under poor conditions.
He lamented how some Arab tribes not only treated OFWs like slaves but also abused them sexually, which he said led to the rise in the number of suicide cases.
That's the reason why some of our countrymen just jump out of the window. The highest rate of foreign workers, nagsu-suicide (who take their own lives). They cannot just endure maybe the human degradation, Duterte said during the awarding ceremony of the 2018 Presidential Award for Child-Friendly Municipalities and Cities in MalacaAang.
Well, sometimes it's a very sad thing to be here knowing that there is still aplenty of Filipinos going abroad, he added.
Duterte directed Social Welfare Secretary Rolando Bautista to come up with a structure to prevent illegal recruitment and human trafficking cases in the Middle East.
I am sending him a message now that you have to do more. Since you are a military man, then I hope you can come up with a structure a bigger one to go after itong (this) recruitment. And so goes for the Department of Labor and everybody, he said. My orders are really to get them. You should know where to fish for them. And return them to the water because they are fish.
Duterte has repeatedly expressed his desire for the government to control and supervise the recruitment process of OFWs.
Last July, Duterte said there should be a separate Department of Overseas Filipino Workers (DOFWs) established by the end of the year to prevent abusive recruiters from harming more Filipinos.
More than 30 bills proposing the creation of a separate OFWs department have been filed at the House of Representatives and the Senate.
At present, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, an attached agency of the DOLE, is in charge of regulating all recruitment agencies in the Philippines. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency