Friday, May 30, 2008

Senator Calls for More Protection of Overseas Filipino Workers


Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Estrada on Wednesday called on the government create more jobs in the country and to implement countermeasures to protect overseas Filipino workers from falling prey to syndicates involved in human trafficking.

"The government should generate more jobs in the country to stop workers from seeking employment abroad," Estrada added.

Estrada is concerned with the worsening poverty in the country that forces Filipinos to seek employment abroad.

He said the Philippine embassy in Singapore had recently reported that the number of Filipinas victimized by human traffickers increased by 70 percent last year compared to 2006 figures.

In a report submitted to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the embassy said that 212 cases of human trafficking were reported in 2007 compared to 125 the previous year.

Only 59 cases of Filipino human trafficking were reported in 2005.

Reports said that 57 Filipinas, or 27 percent of the total Filipino victims of human trafficking, admitted to have engaged in prostitution.

Estrada, concurrent chairman of the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development and of the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on Labor and Employment, said international syndicates are preying on desperate workers trying to get employment abroad to help their families.

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