An organisation looking after the welfare of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) has started an online petition in Change.org asking Congress to enact a law that will ban age discrimination in workplaces nationwide.

“Returning OFWs experience age discrimination in their attempts to try to rejoin the mainstream workforce after being away for so long,” said the petition filed by the Blas Ople Policy Center.

The petition has almost 200 supporters.

“Regardless of their exposure to new and better technology or having a work ethic honed by the competitive environment overseas, many of these workers are discriminated against for not meeting the age-specific requirements of hiring companies,” the Blas Ople Policy Center added.

The petition said Senator Pia Cayetano and Representative Edwin Olivarez have filed bills against age discrimination in the Senate and House of Representatives, but these have yet to reach hearing stage.

“Meanwhile, unemployment and underemployment rates continue to rise, and at least 3,000 to 4,000 Filipinos leave the country daily to work abroad,” the petition said further.

The burden of providing for the family has shifted to young workers because of the bias against hiring those above 30 years old, according to the policy center.

“This deters the principle of inclusive growth, and leads more people to the path of migration because they can’t even get a foot in the door for job interviews not because they are not qualified, but because they are not of a certain age. We are talking here of jobs that should not be age-specific – from messengers to marketing agents and even managerial positions,” the organization said.

It said over 30 countries have laws or policies against age discrimination.

“Australia even has an office created to monitor and stop age discrimination. Here in the Philippines, age discrimination is the 800-pound gorilla in the workplace that no one talks about but thousands of job applicants and employees experience every day,” read the petition.

“Unless we address this problem, inclusive growth will be as elusive as ever,” it said.

Article from Philippines Star