Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III recalled yesterday the labor attaché in Kuwait for negligence and lack of concern for the welfare of Filipino workers in her jurisdiction.
Ordered recalled was Angelita Narvaez, acting labor attaché to Kuwait, following the death of another household service worker who was reportedly beaten to death by her employers last week.
“I issued a recall order to Narvaez for her inaction and lack of concern to our overseas Filipino workers,” Bello said. Narvaez holds the position of Assistant Labor Attaché.
Bello said Narvaez did not inform him of the case of Amy Capulong Santiago when he flew to Kuwait after concluding the third round of talks with the CPP-NPA-NDF in Rome, Italy.
“Santiago died on January 25. I was there on January 26 and Narvaez did not inform me about Santiago’s tragic fate. Narvaez, in effect, misled the Secretary of the Department of Labor by concealing that information,” Bello said.
He added that Narvaez also deliberately prevented him from meeting the OFWs at the Bahay Kalinga.
“I was told by an OFW who returned from Kuwait that there were about 100 Filipino workers who were at the second floor. Itinago niya,” Bello said.
Bahay Kalinga or the Migrant Workers and Other Overseas Filipinos Resource Center (MWOFRC) is used as a temporary shelter for overseas Filipinos in distress and is located within the premises and under the administrative jurisdiction of the Philippine Embassy in countries where there are large concentrations of Filipino migrant workers.
The labor department’s International Labor Affairs Bureau (ILAB), Narvaez’s mother office, will investigate her upon her return.
Meanwhile, Bello said he had discussed the situation of the household service workers in Kuwait with Ambassador Musaed Saleh Ahmal Althwaikh during the latter’s visit yesterday at the DOLE office.
Although he did not disclose the agreements reached during the visit, Bello said that the conversation was “very frank and congenial.”
“The meeting was very conducive and good for the labor relationship of the Philippines and Kuwait,” he said.