Check prospective employers to protect OFWs
Your Feb. 13 editorial, “From Kuwait to China,” which mentions the killing of Joanna Daniela Demafelis, the latest of 120 such deaths in Kuwait alone, makes it easy to see why all overseas Filipino workers in Kuwait should have turned their backs on that country and gone home. But it doesn’t go far enough.
It was mentioned that her former employer and his wife had gone back to Lebanon, that he is a person of interest in her death, and if so, perhaps the Kuwaiti government can show some good faith by pressing for his immediate extradition from Lebanon to answer questions, and also about some checks that were “falsified.”
It is bad enough that poor Filipinos, desperate to get out of poverty, have to work like slaves for a pittance overseas, but to suffer torture, rape, and death is beyond belief.
May I make a simple suggestion in this regard?
OFWs, before going overseas, have to go through a gauntlet of requirements before they are permitted to leave, but what about on the part of their prospective employers?
Why not do some timely and rigorous scrutiny and vet each and every employer and share that information to a continually updated online spreadsheet so that OFWs have some idea who they would be dealing with?
Everyone would like to work for a just and compassionate employer who treats them fairly and pays them well; no one would want to work for some sadistic, psychopathic monster.
There have been far too many cases of sadistic abuse by far too many employers to far too many of our OFWs, mostly young women. It’s about time that employers were rigorously vetted just to ensure that they are of “good moral character,” but if there are any doubts, then they should be assessed through an interview, in person or online, not by any government department but by OFWs themselves. And if in doubt, leave them out.
It’s just like browsing for a hotel room online—they all look good, but one must scrutinize the comments made by those who stayed there and sort out the good and outstanding from the damp and bedbug-infested flophouses and their lazy lying owners.
It can be done, it must be done. The days of sadistic, abusive and murderous employers of our long suffering heroic OFWs must stop.
WALTER PAUL KOMARNICKI,
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