Tuesday, August 08, 2006

supermaids

First was the expressed claim of being “the best leader”. This was followed by the vision of this nation as an “enchanted kingdom”. Thereafter came the projection of “super regions” in the country. Now, it’s coming out with the making of local “supermaids” for export. One can only wonder what could come next? Would “superman” himself be called soon?

Housemaids or domestic helpers are a reality of long standing in the country. They have been much appreciated long since. To these times, they continue to render invaluable service to many homes and families. From being a mere “utusan”, they are now called “katulong” by parents and “ate” by young children they care for. The laws of the land even came out in their favor particularly in terms of their working conditions and rightful benefits.

In other words, most housemaids in the Philippines are helpful and trusted members of Filipino families. A good number of them enjoy the same blessings as well as suffer the same difficulties families have. Not few of them stay and live with the same families for decades, growing old with the children and their parents.

A good number of parents would be lost without housemaids. They go to market, do the cooking, keep cleaning. They wash, dry and iron clothes. They watch the children, the house, the pets, they are first in waking up and last in going to sleep—after doing a hundred and one things during the day. This is precisely why Filipina domestic helpers are in demand even abroad.

But it is both shameful and pitiful for the supposedly best administration in an allegedly promising country to even proudly talk about its glorious vision of a three point national agenda: produce “supermaids”, deploy them abroad, make money out of them. It is ok if they are treated like slaves. It is of no importance if they are physically and emotionally violated. It does not really matter if their rights are denied.

Such a design and desire betray the following realities: a big depreciation of housemaids as objects of commerce. A great despair of making money by exporting no less than human persons. A clear admission of the dire economic condition of the country.

How false and foul can someone become?!


+O. V. Cruz, D.D.
8 August 2006