Press Release – 05 October 2008
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Arroyo's labor honchos urge to undergo psych test first before OFWs,
KGS-Migrante willing to shoulder costs
"OFWs and their families are challenging Mrs. Arroyo's labor officials such as DFA Undersecretary Conejos, DoLE Sec. Roque, POEA Administrator Manalili, OWWA Administrator Dimzon, to undergo psych test after having been on a 3-months on-the-job-training for domestic works before making it compulsory to OFWs. We will campaign to all OFWs to contribute for their psych test fees," said by a member-organization of Migrante International on a statement sent from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Mario Ben, working for 20 years in Saudi Arabia and Chairperson of the Kapatiran sa Gitnang Silangan-Migrante (KGS-Migrante) based in Riyadh, said to make it fair for OFWs and since the psych tests proposal came from Mrs. Arroyo's labor honchos, it is but reasonable that they should be first to undergo a psych test after they have completed a 3-months on-the-job-training either in Saudi Arabia or in Kuwait.
"We are much willing to pay for the cost of their psych test. We should be checking our labor officials' capacity to think rationally and sensibly so that they could come up concrete pro-active measures protecting OFWs rights and well-being," Ben averred.
Ben continued that OFWs and aspiring alike are alarmed if this compulsory psych test will be implemented as this maybe the reason why aspiring OFWs could not be given a fair chance to find a job abroad. "
Compulsory psych test is discriminatory and violative of one's right," he continued. He added that unreasonable and senseless measures such as psych test and AIDS test could not deter OFWs not to commit crimes against their employer.
Numerous cases revealed that OFWs are the usual victims of their abusive employers and not the other way around; thus they were only forced to commit crimes in defense of their life and their beings.
"Contrary to the claim of the DFA Undersecretary Conejos that the government provides "swift, prompt and decisive", psych test is clearly a reactionary measure because it does not provide a direct solution to the real problem of abuses and maltreatment of our household service workers and construction workers," Ben averred.
KGS-Migrante in Riyadh will be writing to the National Center for Mental Health and other Clinics in Metro Manila how much it will costs for all Arroyo labor honchos to undergo a psych tests so that his group could raise the necessary amount.
KGS-Migrante will be writing as well to lobby to members of the Congress to consider filling a bill making it compulsory to all appointive cabinet members to undergo a psych test and AIDS test before their appointment will be concurred.
"We are certain that Arroyo's labor officials will be laughed at by their counterparts from other participating government during the 2nd Global Forum on Migration and Development in Manila on October 29-30 for requiring its own migrant workers to undergo compulsory psych test as it is idiotic and reactionary measure," Ben ended. # # #
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