It is quite common for Filipino employees to endure and not report the unfair treatment by their employers for several years, because they feel they have nowhere to turn to.
In line with this, the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) sought to improve these situations by allowing these Filipino employees to report such incidents directly to their office so that they could receive immediate assistance.
PH Embassy to Kuwait OFWs: ‘Directly Report Abuse and Maltreatment to Us For Immediate Assistance’
“Workers have the right to transfer or change companies as long as they have met the required years of stay with the company,” says Atty. Llewelyn Perez, Welfare Officer of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (POLO). “We ask OFWs to report details of their grievances to the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) if companies refuse,” the Kuwait Times reported.
“We often speak to sponsors and find a way to resolve the situations and in some cases, sponsors refuse, we provide Assistance to our OFWs to file cases in Shoon and put the company on the watch list and that no contracts for recruitment will be processed until cases are resolved,” she added.
The remark was made in response to recent protests alleging that a global food corporation refused to release workers after their three-year contracts expired. Unpaid overtime, a pay deficit, unjustified salary deductions, overwork, and unpaid airline tickets are among the other complaints.
The Abuse Starts when Seeking Fair Treatment is not an Option
“I never complained about the long hours because I knew we didn’t have enough people, but the worst part was when it came to payday, there were deductions made without explanation, and my meagre salary was reduced to almost nothing. Many of the employees haven’t protested, but it’s just too much,” said another OFW employed by the same international food chain.
POLO and the Philippine Embassy’s Assistance to Nationals Unit (ATNU) have already taken action to tackle such violations committed by various companies.
OFWs are asked to provide details on their complaints, and embassy representatives will speak with the sponsors to try to find an agreement, but if they fail despite any justifiable request, the Philippine Embassy will assist nationals in filing cases against the company or sponsor with the Ministry, and the companies’ names and recruitment agencies will be placed on a watch list.
Companies, employers, and recruiting agencies on the watch list will be unable to process any contracts, effectively preventing them from hiring in the Philippines.
POLO officials are currently in touch with the international food chain corporation in order to resolve the situation and release OFWs who were previously refused.
“All we ask is that they follow through on what they agreed to in the contract and allow the employees to pursue better opportunities,” said an OFW who works for the same organisation.