“We have to do more for our modern day heroes. They deserve no less.”
This according to Quezon City Rep. Winston “Winnie” Castelo, vice chairman of the House Committee on Overseas Workers Affairs.
President Rodrigo Duterte has expressed concern over the reported deaths of seven overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Kuwait. According to reports, they are: Liezl Truz Hukdong, Vanessa Karissha Esguerra, Marie Fe Saliling Librada, Arlene Castillo Manzano, Devine Riche Encarnacion, Patrick Sunga, and Mira Luna Juntilla.
In response, Labor Secretary Silvestre “Bebot” Bello released an order stopping the deployment of workers to the middle eastern country, pending the results of the investigation on the deaths.
It will be remembered that as early as September of last year, upon the motion of Castelo, the House Committee on Overseas Workers Affairs already recommended the temporary moratorium on deployment of workers to Kuwait, particularly because multiple complaints of the series of deaths of our workers in the oil-rich state.
“What has the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) done since then? Have they lifted a finger to ensure the safety and security of our citizens? Why have the deaths continued despite knowledge of these unfortunate incidents, and sufficient funds to supposedly perform their duties?” Castelo asked.
The primary job of the government is to provide jobs and livelihood to its people here at home.
“The primary job of the government is to provide jobs and livelihood to its people here at home. However, since the fact remains that there are not enough available good-paying jobs on our shores at this time, then the secondary job of the government is to ensure the safety and security of those who have chosen to work overseas, for lack of better opportunities here,” Castelo said.
The secondary job of the government is to ensure the safety and security of those who have chosen to work overseas.
“The officials and employees of OWWA must do their jobs, or they should be replaced by more caring and more competent public servants who will move heaven and earth to protect our kababayans,” Castelo concluded.