Filipinos call for ban on helpers in Kuwait amid abuse

Petition of 10,000 signatures to be presented to Filipino government
Various concerned citizens and cause oriented groups stage a protest against the misuse of Philippine state funds during a huge rally in Luneta Park on August 26, 2013 in Manila, Philippines. The calls for a protest, which began in social media, snowballed into a demonstration after a whistleblower exposed a scandal involving billions of pesos from the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) were being diverted to a select group of politicians through a number of bogus Non Government Organizations (NGOs) which allegedly siphoned off billions of pesos for ghost or non existent projects and beneficiaries. The fund is money allocated for lawmakers to be used in development projects. Critics see it as funding pork barrel projects which have traditionally been a source of corruption. (Getty Images)
By Courtney Trenwith
Wed 04 Sep 2013 11:26 AM

Filipinos in Kuwait have collected 10,000 signatures supporting a call for the Philippines government to ban more of its citizens taking up domestic work in the Gulf state following a spate of alleged abuse and rapes.

The petition was handed to Consul General Raul Dado at the Philippines Embassy in Kuwait City on Tuesday.

Dado said he would include the petition along with comments from Filipino employers and recruitment agencies in Kuwait in a presentation to the Filipino government.

“The people have spoken and they actually attached their signatures to stress their points here,” Dado said.

“It’s up to the central government to [decide] on various options. We’ll see how we can get a viable solution to the call for a moratorium.

“The signatures gathered will be one of our basis for our position papers that will be submitted along with others to the Secretary of Foreign Affairs [Albert del Rosario]. Along with this, we will also send some suggestions from recruitment agencies and employers especially those who are employing Filipinas.

“The government will consider all options in deciding [on a] call for a moratorium including the economical and humanitarian aspects and even political relations. It’s up to the central government to decide.

“I agree that domestic helpers must be provided with proper protection.”

Treatment of domestic helpers in Kuwait has been an issue for years. The Philippines has previously threatened to ban sending more of its citizens to the wealthy Gulf state, while in 2009 it was reported there was a spate of Filipina maids fleeing their employers amid complaints of mistreatment.

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