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KUWAIT CITY, Feb 2: Bishop Ruperto Santos of Balanga, a Catholic bishop, has urged the Philippine Labor Department to reconsider its plan to stop sending Filipino domestic helpers to Kuwait due to reports of abuses by employers.
A report published Thursday on www.ucanews.com quoted Bishop Santos, who currently heads the bishops’ Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, as saying that the government should instead fulfill its promise to provide alternative or permanent jobs to all Filipinos so that they will not be forced to work abroad.
“Temporarily banning workers in Kuwait is not the answer, it will just create difficulties for our people,” said Bishop Santos. He also called on the government to ensure that proper attention is given to the needs of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). “We have to accompany and always assist our OFWs there, be always available to them and attend to their needs – legal, economic and spiritual,” he added.
Bishop Santos affirmed the church’s migrants ministry is also doing its best to help the OFWs. On Jan 25, Filipina domestic helper Jakatia Pawa was executed for the murder of her employer’s daughter in 2007. Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said they are exerting all efforts to save another OFW death convict, Elpidio Lano, who was found guilty by a Kuwaiti court of killing another Filipino – Nilo Macaranas – in 2014.