POLICY STATEMENT RELATING TO THE RESULTS OF THE CONGRESSIONAL FACT-FINDING
THAT OFW’S IN SAUDI ARABIA ARE WORKING UNDER
- In view of the recent pronouncements and as confirmed by the Congressional Fact-finding mission that indeed, there are many overseas Filipino workers that work under “virtual slavery”, as Mayor of the City of Cebu, I would like to remind everybody concerned that it has been an adopted police of our administrator that the Cebu City Government shall endeavor for the promotion and protection of Cebuano workers, whether local or abroad.
- For this matter, I am now instructing the Department of Manpower Development and Placement of our job’s fair and placement program which I have already approved. This year’s approved jobs fair program will target around 600 to 800 jobs for local employment. A total of 4 local jobs fair will be conducted which will bring about some 2, 400 to 3, 200 jobs. The local jobs fair will not start later than March 2011 and will last until November 2011 while the overseas job fair will be done to coincide with out Labor Day Celebration on May 1.
- For the overseas jobs fair we do have job order openings from countries such as UK, Taiwan, Singapore, Japan, Australia and even the Middle East including Saudi Arabia. However, considering the recent findings of the Congressional Fact Finding Mission, as Mayor of Cebu City, and in the performance of the government’s bounden duty as parens patriae, I am inclined to exclude in the jobs fair the Middle East offers even as I also personally strongly discourage our Cebuano workers from going to countries where it’s been known for OFW experience flagrant violations of the contract much less, virtual slavery until such time that a fitting solution to the problem had been put in place by the National Government.
- On the aspect of responding to the needs of our Cebuano people who may have become victims to these abuses, if there are any, I am giving instructions to the Department of Social Welfare and Services as well as with our Human Resource Department and the City Health Department to formulate and implement a comprehensive program to assist and extend help to the possible victims of labor abuse. I am instruction this concerned City Government Offices to coordinate closely with the Department of Labor and Employment to be able to come up with a coordinated effort and viable program for assistance.
- The welfare of the Cebuano people, in particular the Cebu City constituents have always been this administration’s primordial concern. As a long time industrial relations practitioner, and now as Mayor of Cebu City, it is always my passion to look at the labor force with respect and compassion, they being considered as “Heroes”.
- Nonetheless, the government can only do so much. Slavery, like human trafficking, being a menace to society, is definitely everybody’s concern. Thus, I enjoin all right-minded people in the City of Cebu, particularly the employers to practice the right values of sharing and caring. For without labor there could be also no management. Its not all profit, especially profiting at the expense of other. What is primordial is profit with conscience.
CEBU CITY GOVERNMENT