ANOTHER overseas Filipino worker (OFW) is coming home in a box from Kuwait.
OFW Jeanette Plegaria Opido died last February 23 from what the Kuwait Ministry of Health said was “acute failure of blood circulation and stop of heart muscles and respiration, heavy weakness in heart muscles, lung infection, failure of respiration functions.”
Social media was quick to point fingers as social media tend to. We refuse to ride with the condemnation trend as the recruitment agency seems to have valid proof that it did attend to the victim.
It's useless to point fingers when we do not even have a single piece of paper nor first-person story to base on. She died, and we condole with the family and expect the government agencies in charge to take over from here.
Jeanette is but one of many in working poverty. They who work but live in poverty. They could be like Jeanette, working abroad and most likely supporting the whole extended family. Or they could be in our slums, eking out a living and dreaming of working abroad.
As the International Labor Organization (ILO) reported, "In 2017, extreme working poverty remained widespread, with more than 300 million workers in emerging and developing countries having a per capita household income or consumption of less than US$1.90 per day."
And there is no quick solution in the future as ILO sees a very slow improvement in how employment trends are going, citing the exodus to market service from agriculture and industry where poor working conditions abound.
It's good that there is the declaration by President Rodrigo R. Duterte that he envisions the day when OFWs seek employment abroad only because they dreamed to, and not because circumstances forced them to. But this only means both the private and public sector working together to provide the jobs for all these breadwinners, to provide opportunities and social security.
A lot needs to be done and it cannot be achieved if we allow ourselves to refuse to do our part, and worse, to destabilize what are being done.
“Working poverty continues to fall but – again – just like for vulnerable employment , progress is stalling,” explained Stefan Kühn, lead author of the ILO World Employment and Social Outlook: Trends 2018. “Vulnerable employment affects three out of four workers in developing countries.
Almost 1.4 billion workers are estimated to be in vulnerable employment in 2017. Every year, an additional 17 million are expected to join them.”
That is the picture that no less than the ILO has envisioned, a lot of work has to be done. Let us focus on the work not on the politics, a lot of time has already been wasted.