Senator Loren Legarda on Thursday urged the Aquino administration to issue advisories against countries where large numbers of Filipino domestic workers are abused.
During a weekly forum at the Senate on Thursday, Legarda said she will ask the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to identify which countries are dangerous for domestic workers.
"Kung [sa] tourism ay may travel advisory...siguro magandang i-explore yung posibilidad na magkaroon ng advisory din sa mga lugar na laganap masyado ang pang-aabuso," said the senator, who chairs of the Senate foreign relations committee.
She explained that the DFA and DOLE must specifically check whether the large number of abuse cases is due to culture or the recruitment process.
"Importante kasi aware sila [mga worker] sa kanilang pinapasukan dahil hindi natin maalis sa kanila ang pagnanasa nilang mag-abroad," she said.
"At least meron silang kaalaman, they can equip themselves emotionally [and] physically at ang gobyerno ay maaari silang tulungan at mas dapat matalas ang mata at ang pandinig ng mga opisyal ng embahada natin sa mga lugar na yun," she added.
Cecilia Flores-Obenda, executive director of the Visayan Forum Foundation, said during the same forum that they have been studying which countries have the highest incidents of domestic worker abuse worldwide.
Among the areas they have identified so far are Jordan, Peru, Lebanon, Singapore, Togo, and other parts of Africa, she said.
To help address this, Legarda said she along with other partner groups plan to encourage these countries to follow the Philippines' lead in ratifying the International Labor Organization Convention 189 and passing their own Kasambahay Bill, which both ensure the rights of domestic workers.
"We will urge other countries who send domestic workers and many countries who receive our domestic workers to do their own domestic legislation para may cooperation globally and worldwide that is our next step," she said.
"Filipinos will always be victimized unless there is cooperation from the receiving states so it's going to be a global campaign," she added. - VVP, GMA News