News Release
Department of Labor and Employment
March 2, 2021

PH-UAE sign historic, new labor accord; deployment resumes March 31

The Philippines and the United Arab Emirates today reached a historic agreement giving greater protection to Filipino household service workers, the labor department said.

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. Deployment of HSWs to UAE has been suspended since 2014.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III hailed the agreement as a milestone in the government’s efforts to further protect Filipino overseas workers.

Philippine delegation head Undersecretary Claro Arellano said the new deployment will now be covered by a Unified Employment Contract that provides stringent measures to protect Filipino HSWs pursuant to the directives of President Duterte.

The same provisions were in the standard employment contract being used in Kuwait.

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 the Filipino workers.

“We are grateful for the cooperation of our counterparts,” Arellano said.

The four-party contract, which becomes addendum to the Memorandum of Understanding on Labor Cooperation with Annex Protocol on Domestic Workers, incorporates the President’s instructions for specific provisions to ensure the safety and well-being of HSWs, as follows:

  1. The right of the domestic worker to take at least eight (8) 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 (1) full day 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.

Another significant achievement in the JCM is the agreement on the conversion of tourist/visit visa to working visa. As agreed during the JCM, POLO will be notified when a visit visa is converted to employment visa for a Filipino domestic worker.

The Philippines reiterated its position to deploy the workers through the legal channel and the conversion of tourist visa to working visa is therefore not recommended since this may lead to illegal recruitment and trafficking in persons.

Meanwhile, the UAE promised to provide a modified Unified Employment Contract that reflects the PH side proposed addendum in the next JCM as well as during the discussion by the Technical Working Group on the electronic system and linkage, both sides agreed that the Addendum will already be implemented for the immediate resumption of the deployment of domestic workers under manual process.

The UAE delegation in the JCM is headed by Saif Ahmed Alsuwaidi, undersecretary of Human Resources and Emiratisation. ###

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Bagong kasunduan nilagdaan ng PH-UAE, deployment magsisimula ngayong Marso 31

Lumagda sa kasunduan ang Pilipinas at United Arab Emirates para sa karagdagang proteksiyon ng mga Filipino household service worker (HSW), pahayag ng labor department.

Sa pagtatapos ng dalawang araw na Joint Committee Meeting dito sa Maynila, napagkasunduan din na muling magdedeploy ng HSW sa UAE ngayong katapusan ng buwan. Sinuspinde ang pagpapadala ng HSW sa UAE noong 2014.

Sinabi ni Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III na isang tagumpay ang naganap na kasunduan bunga ng pagpupunyagi ng pamahalaan para higit na maprotektahan ang mga Filipino overseas worker.

Ayon kay Undersecretary Claro Arellano na namuno sa delegasyon ng Pilipinas, ang bagong deployment ay nasa ilalim ng Unified Employment Contract na magbibigay ng mahigpit na patakaran para mas maprotektahan ang mga Filipino HSW ayon na rin sa utos ni Presidente Duterte.

Parehong probisyon ang nakapaloob sa standard employment contract na ginagamit sa Kuwait.

Sa ilalim ng unified contract, parehong may pananagutan ang employer at ang Foreign Recruitment Agency, gayundin ang Philippine Recruitment Agency sakaling malagay sa panganib ang manggagawang Filipino.

“Lubos kaming nagpapasalamat sa kooperasyon ng ating kapilas,” ani Arellano.

Nakapaloob sa four-party contract, bilang addendum sa Memorandum of Understanding on Labor Cooperation with Annex Protocol on Domestic Workers, ayon sa pinag-uutos ni Pangulong Duterte, ang mga sumusunod na probisyon na titiyak sa kaligtasan at kapakanan ng mga HSW:

  1. Ang karapatan ng domestic worker sa walong (8) oras na tulog tuwing gabi;
  2. Ang karapatan ng domestic worker na magkaroon ng pahinga na may bayad, sa labas ng bahay ng kanyang employer na hindi bababa sa isang (1) buong araw kada linggo;
  3. Ang karapatan ng domestic worker na itabi ang kanyang passport o identification document at walang karapatan ang employer na hawakan ito;
  4. Karapatan ng domestic worker na magkaroon at gumamit ng cellular phone at iba pang communication device at pagbabawal sa employer na kumpiskahin ito;
  5. Pagbubukas ng bank account sa pangalan ng domestic worker para sa pagbabayad ng kanyang sahod; at
  6. Karapatan ng domestic worker na magluto ng kanyang sariling pagkain.

Isa pang tagumpay sa JCM ang kasunduan na pagpapalit ng tourist/visit visa bilang working visa. Batay sa napagkasunduan sa ginanap na JCM, ipagbibigay-alam sa POLO kung ang visit visa ng Filipino domestic worker ay napalitan na bilang employment visa.

Muling binigyang-diin ng Pilipinas ang posisyon nito na pagde-deploy ng mga manggagawa gamit ang legal na paraan at ang pagpapalit ng tourist visa bilang working visa ay hindi inirerekomenda upang maiwasan ang illegal recruitment at trafficking in person.

Samantala, nangako ang UAE na magbibigay ito ng bagong Unified Employment Contract na nakasaad ang bahagi ng Pilipinas sa mungkahi nitong addendum sa susunod na JCM, gayundin sa ginanap na pagtalakay ng Technical Working Group ukol sa electronic system at linkage, nagkasundo ang parehong panig na ipatutupad na ang Addendum para sa muling pagde-deploy ng domestic workers batay sa manual process.

Ang UAE delegation sa JCM ay pinamunuan ni Saif Ahmed Alsuwaidi, undersecretary of Human Resources and Emiratisation.

 

 

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