MANILA – The head of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Friday underscored the importance of the recent signing of the ASEAN Consensus on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers, saying it is highly beneficial to the country’s overseas workers.
“Napakahalaga ng consensus agreement para sa mga (The consensus agreement is very important to) migrant workers because for the first time, there is a clear direct recognition of the rights of our workers,” DSWD Officer in Charge, Undersecretary Emmanuel Leyco, said in an interview with the Philippine News Agency (PNA).
Citing an example, Leyco said the consensus prohibits the confiscation of passports and overcharging of recruitment fees, regulates recruiters for better protection of migrant workers, and gives them the right to legal representation and to be visited once they face a legal case.
“Kung ikaw ay migrant worker sa ibang bansa at wala kang pasaporte, helpless ka. Ngayon, nakalagay sa dokumento na yun bawal na kumpiskahin, bawal na kuhanin ng employer ang pasaporte (ng migrant worker). Napakahalaga na malaman yan ng ating mga migrant workers (If you are a migrant worker and your passport is taken from you, you would feel helpless. The consensus bans the confiscation of passports. Employers can no longer hold their worker’s passport. It is vital for our migrant workers to know this),” he said.
The consensus was signed during the recent 31st ASEAN Summit,10 years after the document was adopted in 2007.
The issues on migrant workers were pushed under the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) Pillar, which the DSWD chaired. (PNA)