DOLE forms team to investigate alleged “sex-for-fly” modus operandi in Kuwait

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MANILA -- Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz has ordered the creation of an investigation team that will look into the alleged “sex-for-fly” activities at the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Kuwait.

"I am resolved to get into the bottom of any accusation of wrongdoing against our people to uphold their credibility and integrity, whether or not the allegations are malicious or with basis," Baldoz said.

The investigative team that Baldoz ordered to investigate the allegation is composed of Atty. Leah Fortuna of the Office of the Secretary and Atty. Cesar Chavez of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration.

The labor and employment chief, who is in Geneva for the 102 International Labor Conference, was alerted of newspaper reports about the alleged “sex-for-fly” activities at the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Kuwait and immediately directed the POLO to submit a report.

“The DOLE does not condone any inappropriate act of any of its official and personnel, most especially if it involves the performance of their official duties. Integrity and sincerity in public service are among the core values that we in the DOLE have sworn to uphold and abide by in everything we do,” Baldoz said.

The report on the alleged “sex-for-fly” practice of officials and personnel in the POLO in Kuwait surfaced when an unidentified female OFW who was part of a group of 46 HSWs deported from the Kuwaiti Deportation Center supposedly sought the help of radio station DZRH and aired a complaint that an "embassy official" allegedly demanded a sexual favor to facilitate her repatriation.

Labor Attache to Kuwait David Des Dicang reported that when this report came out, the Philippine Embassy, through Consul General Raul Dado created an investigation team that included Dicang.

"After our investigation, we found out that only one of the 46 HSWs deported came from the Filipino Workers Resource Center. It would serve the interest of justice if the media names the complainant and the officials complained about," Dicang said.

Baldoz warned that she will file charges against any DOLE official or employee who will be proven to have violated their oath as public servants, whether they are in the Philippines or abroad.

"We take this kind of allegations very seriously," she said, adding that measures to deal with allegations of wrongdoing are well-established in the DOLE.

“We believe that for us to be able to protect the rights and welfare of every Filipino worker here and abroad, it is a must that we keep ourselves clean; that we keep the Department graft- and corruption-free,” she finally said.

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