Thursday, August 3, 2006

Hazards of Window Cleaning

The first Filipino deaths since the war broke out last month in Lebanon were reported yesterday.

Although confirming the deaths, the reports of the Department of Foreign Affairs and the labor department differed as to circumstances surrounding their deaths. The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) reported that one domestic helper was killed while trying to escape from her employer to join the evacuation, while another fell while reportedly cleaning the window of an apartment.

But the DFA said the two Filipinas died when they jumped from buildings to flee employers who apparently refused to let them go.

Since when did two fatal accidents involving window-cleaning occur over a span of three days? This underscores the hazardous nature of working as a domestic in a foreign land especially in the Middle East and to think that most of these domestics work from dawn to dusk and share living quarters with pet dogs and turtles and are paid $150 a month! The government needs to provide more protection for its citizens and not simply wait for their hard-earned remittances to prop-up an economy that principally serves the wealthy.

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