ANTIPOLO City, Nov. 3, 2011 - Despite the Philippine Government’s imposition of a deployment ban for 41 countries, a migrant workers’ right watchdog said it would never stop the abuse against Filipino migrant workers elsewhere in the world.
Migrante Middle East regional coordinator John Monterona said in a statement, it is quite an irony that the Philippines had issued a deployment ban for 41 countries, in addition to the 76 already in its list, while the countries being certified as “safety compliant” as per Republic Act 10022 is concerned, are actually have high records of human and labor rights abuses.
For Monterona, issuing a ban does not guarantee that overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are 100 per cent safe against abuses and maltreatment.
"The problem really is forced migration. Since joblessness is rampant in the country and the job opportunities are scarce, not to mention the grinding poverty in the Philippines, these workers are forced to accept job orders in countries included in the ban," said Monterona.
"The ban does not address the problem; the ban only increases the number of victims of human trafficking and those who are entering the countries, included in the ban, with fake documents. Or, those who have already been working in those countries, opt to stay despite their documents have already been expired," he explained.
Migrante-ME, meanwhile, urged the government to create more jobs in the Philippines by truly industrializing the country and implementing pro-people economic policies.
Monterona said, only through national industrialization and genuine land reform could prevent forced migration. [Noel Sales Barcelona/CBCPNews]