By Filane Mikee Cervantes
MANILA — Senator Joel Villanueva on Thursday urged the Department of Labor Employment (DOLE) to inspect the employer of the Chinese national, who fell to his death while escaping from an office building in Las Piñas City.
Villanueva, chair of the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment, and Human Resource Development, said the DOLE must investigate whether the victim’s employer complies with pertinent labor laws, standards, and regulations.
“Tinatawagan natin ang DOLE para magpadala ng mga inspectors at imbestigahan ang mga labor practices ng kumpanya (We call on DOLE to dispatch labor inspectors to investigate the labor practices of the company),” Villanueva said.
“Employers cannot hold their workers against their will, especially for nonpayment of debt. Baka kidnapping na po ‘yan (That could be considered kidnapping). No less than our Constitution guarantees that ‘no person shall be imprisoned for debt’,” he added.
Yang Kang, allegedly held prisoner by his employer, died after falling from the sixth-floor window of his office building in Pamplona Dos, Las Piñas City last Friday.
Villanueva cited that the victim had been allegedly held by his employer for the supposed nonpayment of the worker’s debt.
The senator also urged the government to prevent the trafficking of foreigners in reaction to a recent statement of the Chinese embassy, which pointed out that some of its nationals recruited to work here in the Philippines are apparent victims of human trafficking.
“We call on the government to closely coordinate with the Chinese embassy so that Chinese nationals who intend to work here in the country are properly apprised of the correct procedures that should be followed to obtain proper working permits and work visas,” he said.
“Through this, both our governments can help minimize, if not eliminate, the rising cases of trafficking involving our citizens all over the world,” he added.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo earlier asked the Philippine National Police to probe the incident, noting that the Philippines “will not allow nor tolerate any kind of abuse inflicted on any foreigner”.
The embassy welcomed Panelo’s remarks as it urged relevant departments in the country “to bring the perpetrators to justice through an objective, fair, and thorough investigation and continue to take concrete and effective measures to protect the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens in the Philippines.” (PNA)