QC vice mayor lauds gov’t efforts to protect OFWs

MANILA Quezon City Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte on Wednesday lauded President Rodrigo R. Duterte's solid campaign to fight for the rights of women overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

Belmonte said that she is impressed by Duterte's determination to compel the Kuwaiti government to sign an agreement ensuring the well-being of OFWs, especially the women.

Natutuwa ako sa Pangulo (I'm happy with the president), he really fights for the rights of our OFWs, most of whom are women," Belmonte said in an interview.

She said Duterte wants Kuwait and other Middle Eastern states to sign the agreement that would protect the welfare of Filipino workers before he would lift the OFW deployment ban in those places which he imposed since February.

Duterte has asked an assurance from the Kuwaiti government that OFWs get seven hours of sleep, enjoy holidays, and freedom from passport confiscation by their employers.

He also demanded that OFWs be allowed to cook their own food rather than eating leftovers a common practice of abusive employers in Kuwait.

Belmonte emphasized these agreement conditions will benefit many women OFWs.

Citing figures from the Philippine Statistics Authority, she said women migrant workers comprised 53.6 percent or more than half of 2.2 million OFW population.

"So ito 'yung mga rights na pinaglalaban ng ating pangulo (So these are the rights which our president is fighting for). He said 'I will not allow women OFWs to go back to Kuwait if you do not grant them rights'. Kaya palakpakan natin ang ating pangulo (So let us clap for our president)," Belmonte said.

Source: Philippine News Agency