Rep. Enrico Pineda Calls For Review Of MOA With Kuwait

The chairman of the House Committee on Labor and Employment is calling for a congressional inquiry into the possible violation of the memorandum of agreement (MOA) between the Philippines and Kuwait following the death of another overseas Filipino worker (OFW) in the Gulf state.

In a statement, 1-PACMAN Party-list Rep. Enrico Pineda also urged the government to impose a ban on the deployment of Filipino workers to the Arab nation.

“I am pushing for our government to impose a deployment ban to Kuwait until we are satisfied with their government’s actions with respect to the death of overseas Filipino worker, Jeanelyn Villavende; until justice is served,” Pineda said.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) confirmed on Monday that Villavende has been killed by her employer’s wife.

Villavende’s death came even after Manila and Kuwait signed an agreement in 2018 for the protection and welfare of OFWs after the death of household service worker Joanna Demafelis.

The MOA between the two countries was seen as a solution to end the persistent human rights violations by Kuwaiti employers against their Filipino domestic helpers.

“If the Kuwaiti Government is actually concerned about our workers, it should ensure that they are well-protected. Because we will not allow our vulnerable Filipinos to be deployed to work in foreign lands without the assurance that the foreign state will give them the protection they need,” he said.

“I call upon all our government agencies to shed light on the matter so that Congress may act upon these issues and consider necessary legislation and policy direction,” he added.

The agreement requires the two countries to uphold ethical recruitment policies, systems, and procedures for the recruitment and employment of domestic workers subject to their laws and regulations. It requires employers to provide food, housing, and clothing to their workers; and for the countries to take legal action against erring employers. (PNA)