OFW advocate calls for passage of law against age discrimination in workplaces

By on June 3, 2014

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MANILA — An Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) advocate is asking lawmakers to pass a law that will prohibit age discrimination in workplaces.

Susan Ople, president of Blas F. Ople Policy Center, said that having a law against age discrimination would force employers to hire older workers who are physically able and meet the qualifications of the jobs they are applying for.

“Various groups are united in calling for the swift passage of a law to stop the discriminatory practice of imposing age requirements on job applicants, thus causing demoralization among Filipino workers, including OFWs,” she said in a Church-run forum in Manila on Tuesday.

She noted that there are seven pending bills at the Lower House while Senate Bill 29 had been filed by Sen. Pia Cayetano.

Ople added that there are more than 30 countries that have existing policies against age discrimination in the workplace.

Last May 1, the group launched an online petition for the passage of such a law through change.org. To date, they have already gathered 4,627 signatories.

“When we reached 10,000, we will give a copy to the chairs of Senate and House committee on labor,” she said.

On the other hand, Ople said that age discrimination in the workplace is also one of the factors in the increase of the number of OFWs.

She said many workers in the country are being forced to find employment abroad since several local companies refuse to hire them due to their age.

“Based on the cases we handled at the Ople Center, upon their return here. They are having a hard time to get employed. Since they need to provide for their families, they have no choice but to apply for work abroad again even some of them have trauma because of the abuses they suffered,” Ople added.