By Marita Moaje
MANILA – Recruitment violation cases will be filed next week by the Department of Migrant Workers against the recruitment agencies of Jullebee Ranara, the 35-year-old household worker whose burnt body was found in a desert in Kuwait a week ago.
In a press briefing on Saturday, DMW Undersecretary Bernard Olalia said that a preventive suspension has also been issued against Ranara’s Kuwaiti employer.
“Upon review of the case involved and with the existing facts we have, we filed, we already issued an order preventively suspending the employer of Jullebee Ranara,” Olalia said.
Olalia said a preventive suspension means the employer would not be allowed to hire a Filipino worker and may lead to blacklisting.
“We also called upon the representatives of the PRA (Philippine recruitment agency) and the FRA (foreign recruitment agency) after examination of the facts involved. By next week, there would be recruitment violation cases that will be filed against the PRA and FRA involved,” he said.
Cases will be filed against the Catalist International Manpower Services Company and the Platinum International Office for Recruitment of Domestic Manpower, the Philippine and Kuwaiti agencies, respectively, that facilitated Ranara’s deployment.
Olalia said recruitment agencies have obligations to continuously monitor the living and working conditions of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
“Kailangang kontakin ‘yung OFW, kumustahin kung ano na ang kalagayan niya, siya ba ay sinasaktan, siya ba ay may mga issue o concern sa kaniyang workplace, may reklamo ba siya sa kaniyang employer. Base sa initial investigation natin, hindi nagampanan ni PRA at ni FRA ‘yun (It is necessary to contact the OFW, how is she doing, is she being hurt, if there are issues or concerns in the workplace or complaints with the employer. Based on our initial investigation, the PRA and the FRA did not fulfill those),” Olalia said.
The 17-year-old son of Ranara’s employer was arrested within 24 hours of the discovery of the body and has confessed to the crime.
Her remains arrived Friday night, witnessed by officials led by DMW Secretary Susan Ople.
Ranara orphaned four children.
The DMW has a platform called OFW Welfare Monitoring System and an online helpdesk (https://www.dmw.gov.ph/onlineservices) where reports may be filed.
In the case of Ranara, Olalia said the DMW did not receive any report.
The DMW will meet with local recruitment agencies that send household service workers to Kuwait on Monday. (PNA)