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Response to Saudi maid ban shows Philippines gov’t has no long-term plan of creating decent jobs – KMU

6 July 2011 No Comment
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Media Release
06 July 2011

Response to Saudi maid ban show gov’t has no long-term plan of creating decent jobs – KMU

Labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno slammed the Aquino government’s plan of searching for new markets for maids who may lose their jobs in Saudi Arabia, saying this is another proof the government’s lack of a long-term program of providing decent employment for Filipinos in the country.

In a news item, Nicon Fameronag, Department of Labor and Employment spokesperson, said that Filipino household service workers (HSWs) affected by the Saudi deployment ban can be absorbed by other labor markets like Hong Kong, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates or they can work as sales workers, waitresses or other low-skilled workers in the country.

“The Aquino government’s plan of begging other countries to absorb Filipino maids and workers after a deployment ban in Saudi Arabia is despicable. The Aquino government is shipping Filipino workers from one graveyard to another because it lacks a long-term program of providing decent employment to Filipinos in the country,” said Roger Soluta, KMU secretary-general.

“Because the Aquino government just made the employment situation in the country even worse, it is now getting desperate to find employment for the around 20,000 HSWs who are about to lose their jobs in Saudi Arabia. Yet we are not seeing any effort to create decent employment in the country,” he added.

“Instead of bringing Filipino maids and workers back home and provide them decent jobs, the Aquino government merely plans to ship them to other countries which also have records of domestic slavery such that of Saudi Arabia,” Soluta said.

According to official data from the government’s Labor Force Survey, the unemployed in the country rose by around 160,000 from July 2010 to April 2011, while the underemployment rose by more than half a million during the same period.

“The Aquino government’s labor export policy dictates that the government beg other countries to accept Filipinos as maids and low-skilled workers. Such a policy which keeps the government begging other countries and keeps the Filipinos in the dirty, dangerous and difficult jobs should be junked,” Soluta said.

“It is only by developing the country’s industries and implementing a genuine agrarian reform program can the government provide decent employment to the Filipino people. The Aquino government, however, is stunting our industries and promoting further landgrabbing among the country’s biggest landlords,” he added.

Reference: Roger Soluta, KMU secretary-general

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