Several Filipinos who had been bound for Kuwait shared their distress over the recent temporary deployment ban on first-time overseas Filipino workers (OFW), particularly domestic helpers, according to JP Soriano’s “24 Oras” report on Thursday.
Rubylyn Samuyag said she had amassed a pile of debt while processing her application to go to Kuwait, and only needed her Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) after her recruitment agency found an employer for her.
She had been anticipating a $400 monthly salary as a household service worker in Kuwait.
“Three months na po kami dito. Para makatulong po kami sa pamilya namin, yung papa ko na may sakit, tapos po makapag-aral 'yung mga kapatid ko at saka yung pamaangkin ko at aking anak,” she said.
The Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) imposed the temporary deployment ban in Kuwait after the killing of OFW Julleebee Ranara.
“Tayo po ay magbibigay ng paraan, magrerekomenda po tayo kung saan po natin pwede silang ipadala,” DMW Undersecretary Bernard Olalia said.
The DMW earlier recommended other countries such as Singapore and Hong Kong as alternatives. These were also being considered by the Philippine Association of Service Exporters Incorporated (PASEI).
“Marami pong pangangailangan sa Hongkong, Singapore, Malaysia and then Taiwan for care workers, and we also have Dubai,” PASEI president Raquel Bracero said.
The salary for domestic helpers in Hong Kong and Taiwan can reach over $500, higher than Kuwait.
However, applicants to become domestic helpers in Hong Kong were asked to pay a big placement fee, while there is no placement fee in Kuwait.
“May mga trabaho na din kami dito, hindi po talaga kasya yung mga sahod namin,” affected OFW Merivic Ombrete Cunag said. — Richa Noriega/BM, GMA Integrated News