PH to resume deployment of household workers to UAE this March
MANILA, Philippines — The country will resume the deployment of household service workers (HSWs) to UAE “effective end of the month,” the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said Tuesday.
“At the conclusion of the two-day Joint Committee Meeting in Manila, it was also agreed that the country will resume deployment of HSWs to the Emirates effective end of the month,” the department said in a statement.
Deployment of HSWs to UAE has been suspended since 2014.
DOLE said the two countries “today reached a historic agreement giving greater protection to Filipino household service workers.”
According to Philippine delegation head Undersecretary Claro Arellano, the new deployment would now be covered by a unified employment contract that provides stringent measures to protect Filipino HSWs.
He said the same provisions were also included in the standard employment contract being used in Kuwait.
DOLE explained that under the unified contract, both the employer and the Foreign Recruitment Agencies and the Philippine Recruitment Agencies are bound by joint and solidary liability should anything happen to Filipino workers.
The agency added that the four-party contract, which becomes an addendum to the Memorandum of Understanding on Labor Cooperation with Annex Protocol on Domestic Workers, incorporates President Rodrigo Duterte’s instructions for certain provisions to ensure the well-being of HSWs:
1. The right of the domestic worker to take at least eight continuous hours of sleep every night;
2. The right of the domestic worker to take a break that is paid, outside the residence of the employer at least one full days every week;
3. The right of the domestic worker to keep his/her passport or identification documents and the employer is not allowed to hold them;
4. The employer shall allow the domestic worker to have and use cellular phones and other communication devices and the employer is prohibited from confiscating them;
5. Opening of bank account under the name of the domestic worker for payment of salary; and
6. Allowing the domestic workers to cook her or his own food.
Meanwhile, the DOLE said another significant achievement in the joint committee meeting is the agreement on the conversion of tourist or visit visa to working visa.
“As agreed during the JCM, POLO (Philippine Overseas Labor Office) will be notified when a visit visa is converted to employment visa for a Filipino domestic worker,” the department said.
The UAE likewise promised to provide a modified unified employment contract that reflects the Philippines’ proposed addendum in the next joint committee meeting, according to DOLE.
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