The circumstances surrounding the death of a Chinese national recently merits a closer scrutiny by labor inspectors who should assess whether the victim’s employer complies with pertinent labor standards and regulations, according to Senator Joel Villanueva.
Villanueva, chair of the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment, and Human Resource Development, likewise called on the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to dispatch an inspection team to verify whether foreign workers at the victim’s employer obtained proper employment permits and whether the employer’s operations are legitimate and compliant with labor laws and other regulations.
“Nakakakilabot po ang sinapit ng Chinese national na nahulog sa isang building sa pagtangkang tumakas sa kanyang employer. Tinatawagan natin ang DOLE para magpadala ng mga inspectors at imbestigahan ang mga labor practices ng kumpanya,” the veteran legislator said.
“Employers cannot hold their workers against their will, especially for nonpayment of debt. “
“A legitimate employer in the Philippines must follow our prevailing labor laws and regulations,” the seasoned lawmaker added. “Employers cannot hold their workers against their will, especially for nonpayment of debt. Baka kidnapping na po ‘yan. In fact, no less than our Constitution guarantees that ‘no person shall be imprisoned for debt.'”
Initial reports state that the victim attempted to escape a room at his office building in Las Piñas by going out of the window. The Chinese national unfortunately fell from the sixth floor of the office building.
“Some of Chinese nationals recruited to work in the Philippines are apparent victims of human trafficking.”
Police investigators disclosed that the victim had been allegedly held by his employer for the supposed nonpayment of debt.
The senator then cited a recent statement by the Chinese Embassy, which pointed out that some of its nationals recruited to work here in the Philippines are apparent victims of human trafficking.
“Just as we campaign against the trafficking of Filipinos who are lured to work overseas by unscrupulous recruiters, our government should also prevent the trafficking of foreign nationals who are lured to work here in the country with false promises,” he explained.
“Tulad na lamang po ng ating paghihikayat sa ating mga overseas Filipino workers na gawing legal and kanilang estado sa mata ng batas, ganyan din po natin hinihikayat ang mga banyagang manggagawa dito sa atin. Hindi po sila mapo-protektahan ng husto kung mananatili silang iligal,” Villanueva added.
“We call on the government to closely coordinate with the Chinese Embassy so that Chinese nationals who intend to work here in the country are properly apprised of the correct procedures that should be followed to obtain proper working permits and work visas. Through this, both our governments can help minimize, if not eliminate, the rising cases of trafficking involving our citizens all over the world.” he continued.
Villanueva warned foreign employers who subject their workers to maltreatment, saying the country’s labor laws, including occupational safety and health laws, and related laws, specifically prohibit any untoward acts against employees.
“Kung sa kanilang bayan, pinapayagan ng mga awtoridad na saktan ang kanilang empleyado, gusto po natin ipaaalala sa mga banyagang employer na mahigpit na ipinagbabawal iyan dito sa atin,” he concluded.