Thursday, July 19, 2012

Promoting the Rights and Welfare of Domestic Workers

The PMRW held a forum on "Promoting the Rights and Welfare of Domestic Workers" at the Manila Manor hotel on July 19, 2012. The activity aimed to better understand domestic work, ILO Convention 189 and its implications, and the Kasambahay bill. Forum speakers included POEA Administrator Hans Cacdac who talked about ILO Convention 189 and government efforts to promote the rights and welfare of domestic workers; Ms. Lilibeth Masimloc, President of the Samahan at Ugnayan ng mga Manggagawang Pantahanan sa Pilipinas (SUMAPI) who discussed the features and gave updates on the Kasambahay bill; and Ms. Ruth Martinez who recounted her experience working as a domestic worker in Syria.

Ms. Toots Ople of the Ople Policy Center and Ms. Lita Hizon of PAMADEL and PAMAJOR were the Reactors to the forum. Ms. Ople talked about migration as a people problem and the need to review policies and regulations, since they are not reflective of the reality overseas. In the light of the on-going war in Syria, Ms. Ople also commented on its direct threat to women, considering that the Philippine government does not know how many Filipinos there are actually in Syria. Ms. Hizon, who has been in the recruitment business for the past 25 years, cited the need to stop illegal recruitment.

Sen. Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel, III who authored Senate Resolution 801 urging Senate concurrence to ILO Convention 189 on Decent Work for Domestic Workers came to give his solidarity message to the forum participants. He assured everyone of his support to the ratification of the said Convention.

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