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Only 15% OFWs pursue labor cases against employers—study

ONLY 15 percent of Overseas Filipino workers (OFW) pursue cases against their employers abroad and 58 percent reach settlement, a 2021 research by the Ople Center has shown, reported ABS CBN News.

The research titled “Seeking Justice: Developing Improved OFW Feedback and Complaints Mechanisms” released ahead of the World Day Against Trafficking on Friday, July 30, has said that only 15 percent or 719 of complaints filed by OFWs were pursued.

As many as over 58 percent or 2,697 opted for settlement while 2 percent or 71 of cases have been withdrawn.

Alcestis Abrera Mangahas, former Internal Labor Organization-Asia Pacific Region deputy regional director, who headed the research, said several factors influenced the employee decisions.

Mangahas said some of their findings showed that OFWs find that there “were fragmented laws and policies… language barriers aggravated by unfriendly immigration and work permit processes” in their host countries.

The study found that OFWs have financial costs at stake to pursue cases.

This was often compounded by threats from employers and agencies to blacklist them.

Although Philippine government agencies focusing on OFW welfare do have their own monitoring systems for overseas workers, they lack coordination, Mangahas added.

Earlier the Duterte administration promised to set up an OFW department to manage ordeals faced by OFWs.

Staff Report

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