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Deployment of maids to ME seen to go down

By: - Reporter / @mj_uyINQ
/ 07:00 AM September 02, 2011

The recruitment industry expects a huge decline in the number of Filipino domestic workers being deployed to the Middle East with the likely approval of a resolution that would make Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates off limits to household service workers.

According to industry sources, the governing board of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has already approved a Department of Foreign Affairs proposal to ban the deployment of Filipino domestic workers in the three Arab countries.

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The DFA made the recommendation because of the three countries’ non-compliance with labor policies and international and local laws, including Republic Act No. 10022, or the amended Migrant Workers Act.

Rights of workers

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According to Section 3 of RA 10022, the Philippines will allow deployment only if the host country has “existing labor and social laws protecting the rights of workers.”

The law also provides that a host country must be a “signatory to and or a ratifier of multilateral conventions, declarations relating to the protection of workers; and has concluded a bilateral agreement or arrangement with the government on the protection of the rights of OFWs.”

Approval of the DFA recommendation would result in a 50 percent decline of Filipino  household service workers (HSWs) deployment in the next few months, according to a recruitment expert, who refused to be named for lack of authority to speak on the matter.

Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz on Thursday said there was indeed such a recommendation from the DFA but that the POEA’s governing board has yet to make a decision.

‘We’re waiting’

“We still have to wait… but if it is adopted, the [deployment ban of HSWs] will be the effect,” said Baldoz who chairs the POEA board.

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Household service workers make up a huge portion of the eight to 11 million Filipinos working overseas.

In 2010 alone, the total deployment of HSWs reached 96,583, with Hong Kong as the top destination. Kuwait ranked second with 21,554 Filipino domestic workers followed by UAE with 13,184, and Qatar fifth with 9,937, according to an industry source.

The deployment of HSWs in the latter three countries combined accounted for almost half of the total number of Filipino domestic workers deployed last year, the source said.

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TAGS: Filipino domestic workers, Kuwait, Middle east, Migrant Workers Act, Overseas Filipino workers, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), Qatar, United Arab Emirates
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