Kuwait Times, Thursday, January 26, 2006
Arabic Press Review
By Dr Sami Alrabaa
My comment: The death penalty is arguably controversial everywhere in the world. But what strikes me is that a Filipina has to commit a crime before the President of the Philippines wakes up and rushes to save the life of one of her compatriots. The case of Ranario should drive Ms Arroyo to order her officials to work out a labour treaty with the Arab Gulf countries whereby Filipinos, unlike their colleagues in Hong Kong and Singapore, are severely ill- and inhumanely treated. Decent contracts have got to be worked out and must be legally binding. Minimum wages and limited work hours have got to be included in the contract of each and every recruited worker. Human work conditions would protect Filipino workers overseas from crimes committed by both workers and their employers. We often hear and read that maids commit suicide or kill their employers. Crime is crime whether it is instigated by employers or committed by employees. The work conditions of maids and servants in the Arab Gulf countries are intolerable. The state of the Philippines is benefiting from the remittances of its citizens working abroad. In return, Manila must work on improving the work conditions of these people. It is in the interest of all.