POEA: Agencies liable for abuse on HSWs
MANILA - Recruitment agencies that fail to protect Filipino household service workers (HSWs) from abuse and violence face sanctions.
Administrator Hans Cacdac of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) said recruiters will be held accountable for the violence, abuse and other contract violations committed against HSWs.
“Failure to abide by their responsibility to protect OFWs warrants cancellation or suspension of their license, depending on the gravity and frequency of the offenses,” he said.
Administrator Carmelita Dimzon of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) said 23-year-old domestic helper Rahima Panayaman of Cotobato City had returned home from Kuwait after suffering maltreatment from her employer for several months.
Panayaman sustained burns when her Kuwaiti employer poured boiling water on her back, and she has become bald because her employer kept pulling her hair, he added.
Dimzon said Panayaman’s employer is now in jail and has paid her almost P2 million to settle the case.
OWWA will give Panayaman a scholarship so she can finish her studies as well as the chance to avail of alternative livelihood benefits, she added.
Cacdac said some recruiters are taking shortcuts in the HSW placement process by engaging another agency to deploy workers, passing off a domestic worker as another type of worker, using fake documents, including Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar and training certifications, deployment through the backdoor, or deployment to countries with travel restrictions.
Recruitment agencies must ensure that HSWs are properly documented and only those with the the required skills and competencies are deployed, he added.