I saw the movie ‘A Mighty Heart’ about the account of Marianne Pearl regarding the kidnapping and killing of her journalist-husband Daniel Pearl in Pakistan.

I would say Angelina Jolie deserves whatever award she got for the role.

But hey, this is not a movie review.

What touch me in the movie is that within the first week that Daniel Pearl has been confirmed kidnapped, the French Embassy (Marriane is French) and American Embassy were all-out in their support to Marianne and in finding Daniel.

The American government provided high-level support also that made it possible for Pakistani police and security services to conduct their massive and effective operations to uncover the people behind Pearl’s kidnapping. To think that Pearl is journalist (and a Jew) in a volatile Islamic country.

Now, fast forward.

If Pearl is Filipino, you can be sure that the government would only issue some trite press release about the kidnapping. And when it is over (as in the victim is killed), the government will most likely slap a ban on Pakistan for being a security risk country.

But did US and France put a ban on Pakistan for the incident? Nope. Not even a travel warning, which they casually release against travel to Southern Philippines…

And this is where it is sad to note about the state of government support that we OFWs get when one of us is in distressed. We surely heard about stories on how our own embassy staff or officials are pimping the female OFWs in distressed because their is no official budget for them. And how emabssy officials tell ME OFWs not to rescue or provide relief to runaway/distressed OFWs so as not to violate the host country’s law or offend the employers.

These days, OFWs in Middle East are occupied in their thoughts about the plight of 2 housemaids sentenced to death.

I believe that we should stop deploying domestic help to most Middle East and Arab countries (with the exception of UAE) because of the poor record of their nationals in treating our OFWs there. It is right to slap a TOTAL BAN against Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan. But the same TOTAL BAN on domestic help should be implemented in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar.

Just for a measly 200 dollars a month, they put their lives in jeopardy the moment they leave the Philippines for these countries.

I saw one documentary in Al-Jazeera about how many Sri Lankan maids in Lebanon got killed or committed suicide because of abuses of their employers. But they kept coming. And the NGOs and Christian organizations there are complaining about the lack of action from Lebanese government and Sri Lanka’s lack of regulation for the protection of its overseas workers.

Why is the Philippine government not putting a TOTAL BAN against the sending of domestic helpers to these countries???

And so, how many more Filipinos need to die senselessly in these countries in the name of OFW remittance and to escape from abject poverty back home?

I hope we do not forget these fallen OFWs on the 2010.