Senator Joel Villanueva, chairperson of the Senate committee on labor, employment, and human resources development, welcomed on Tuesday the partial lifting of the ban on the deployment of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to Kuwait following the signing of a memorandum of understanding that provides for additional protection of Filipino workers in the Gulf state.
According to the recent announcement of Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, the ban will be lifted only for skilled and semiskilled workers, and not for “domestic helpers” as Roque underscored the need for the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to implement reforms in their recruitment.
The Palace said that there will be a mandatory training for “domestic helpers” to be paid by their recruiters.
However, Villanueva emphasized that these “domestic helpers”, which he rather calls “household service workers” (HSWs), are required to acquire TESDA certification prior to their deployment.
"We welcome the lifting of the deployment ban and at the same time, we would want DOLE and POEA to report on the required training before the deployment of HSWs through TESDA's NC-II Domestic Work certification. We would want to know whether this has been complied, how many recruitment agencies are complying, how many HSWs have been certified prior to deployment, and what are the problems encountered, Villanueva asked.
“We urge the DOLE and the POEA to conscientiously pursue the upgrading of household service work as a profession with unique skills set and not slaves consistent with ILO Convention 189 on Domestic Work, which the country actively campaigned for to ensure the protection of our HSWs. Our HSWs should already be armed with NC II certificates as professional service workers, and recruitment agencies should be required to deploy only certified HSWs," Villanueva added.