DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The Filipino migrant group Migrante International called for a public apology from a Kuwaiti social media star who recently made derogatory remarks against Filipino household workers.
In a statement released by the group on Friday, July 20, it said it would be better for the celebrity if she would visit the Philippines to witness for herself the appalling poverty that grips many Filipino families and find out what hardships overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) had to go through in government agencies before they would finally be deployed abroad.
“We strongly demand that she offer public apology and genuinely express remorse for her disgusting statement,” the group stressed.
In a video posted on Twitter that went viral and sparked outrage online, Kuwaiti star Sondos Al Qattan criticized the new rules for hiring Filipino domestic workers in Kuwait.
Al Qattan ranted against giving day-offs to the Filipino household workers and allowing them to keep their passports.
“Honestly, I disagree with this law. I don’t want a Filipino maid anymore,” Al Qattan said in the video in Arabic language.
“How can you have a servant in your house who gets to keep their passport with them? If they ran away and went back to their country, who will refund me?” she added.
The migrant group said Al Qattan exhibited ”intoxication in her overinflated ego and false sense of superiority”.
“At a time when many all over the world are going to and fro online to acquire knowledge and access more information, Sondos should have known by now that workers have rights too and they deserve just and humane treatment from their employers,” Migrante said.
According to the survey, over two million Filipinos work in Kuwait and an estimated 10 million work overseas.
In May, a labor deal that aims to protect the welfare of Filipino workers was signed between the Philippines and Kuwait government. They are now governed by work contacts and have rights today off.
A draft memorandum of understanding of agreement was also signed between the two governments that allow Filipino workers to keep their passports and use their cellphones.
Both parties also agreed to provide a $400 net per month salary. The employer will open a bank account where salary will be deposited, as proof the OFW is being paid.
However, Migrante criticized the agreement as nothing new to offer and will only be a duplicate of the previous laws and policies of the two governments concerning the OFWs. (davaotoday.com)