"From homes to establishments': Baldoz calls for HSW job transition

Date Posted: June 23rd, 2014 07:15 AM


"From homes to establishments': Baldoz calls for HSW job transition “It’s high time for Filipino overseas household service workers (HSWs) to slowly transform themselves as home-based workers and become establishment-based service workers.” This is the message of Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz who yesterday instructed the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) to lay down the ground for a paradigm shift that will improve the lot of the tens of thousands and millions of domestic workers here in the Philippines and those deployed abroad. "The reforms we have laid down during the past four years makes me confident we are ready for this transition," said Baldoz in a news conference at the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration on F.B. Harrison in Pasay City, where she introduced newly-appointed OWWA chief Rebecca Calzado, a former DOLE assistant secretary. “In the past four years, we have continuously adopted reform policies that will upgrade the skills of our HSWs. We have prepared orientation courses on country-specific culture and language, protective mechanisms at the job sites, and many other reforms, such as obliging employers to shoulder the cost of deploying the domestic helper, and increasing the minimum salary to a level commensurate to their acquired competencies,” Baldoz said. She instructed the three DOLE undersecretaries, whose roles she expanded by assigning them supervisory functions, as her representatives, over the POLOs' geographical regions, to push the joint POEA-TESDA-NWPC certified and competency-based salaries of domestic workers pursuant to the Kasambahay Law towards professionalizing their services and moving to selected high-end markets for HSWs and later, to establishment-based work, such as care-giving or nursing, hospitality, hotels, resorts, and restaurants. “We are beginning to reap the gains of our efforts. Our HSWs are now well-equipped with skills that our country can be proud of. What we intend to do is to move them from the typical household jobs. We wish to see them flaunt their skills by working in establishments in positions that require similar and needed skills,” she added. The labor and employment chief explained that with the skills gained from pre-employment training, overseas HSWs and those who wish to be employed in the future as such may now consider opportunities in the hotel and tourism industry as room attendants, waitresses, cooks, and kitchen helpers where they have the opportunity to earn higher incomes. According to the DOLE’s 101 Career Guide, entry level salary for F&B workers ranges from $3.51 to $7.65 in the USA and AU$10.10 to AU$15.02 in Australia. The basic pay excludes allowances, bonuses, overtime pay, and other benefits or incentives, such as customer service “tips”. The Career Guide is a comprehensive list of careers that would lead to jobs identified to be in-demand during the next ten years in the country’s key employment generating sectors. Baldoz said the overseas labor market also recognizes wage employment for HSWs as massage therapists in spa; salons; offices of physicians and chiropractors; fitness and recreational sports centers; and in hotels, where the average earning is about $6,351 per month or higher. “Knowledge and skills are acquired mainly through years of experience; but I encourage them to at least obtain additional training, so they could vie for more opportunities and enjoy career growth,” Baldoz said. Employment opportunities abound for HSWs in major destinations abroad like countries like Hong Kong, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Singapore. The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), through authorized training centers, offer Household Services Training and Certification at a cost ranging from P2,000 to P5,000. A National Certificate II-level certification, valid for five years, will be given to workers who complete the course. She bared that the joint POEA-TESDA-NWPC project on the development of customized training regulation, modules, assessment, and certification program for HSWs is already due for presentation to the POEA Governing Board. The project involved the POEA mandating licensed agency owners to include lectures on career advancement for HSWs in briefings as well as in pre-departure orientation seminars. It also involves the NWPC's conduct of a study/review of the wage structure for kasambahay as required under the Kasambahay Law, or R.A. 10361, for the purpose of matching up wage rates based on competencies or skills. It also includes a TESDA study on the modes of financing the further training of kasambahay and HSW for overseas deployment and considers the Training for Work Scholarship Program to assist HSWs and kasambahay who are willing to undergo training, and higher certification--NC III and NC IV--for HSWs with upgraded skills. NC II-certification assures an employer of competent and quality domestic services. At the same time, it assures HSWs better compensation. According to POEA statistics, the demand for HSWs in major countries of destinations is rising consistently. This is evidenced by the 50,082 HSWs deployed in 2008; 71,557 in 2009; 96,583 in 2010; 142,689 in 2011; and 155,831 in 2012. “We expect this growing trend in the years to come; and I hope our household service workers who dream to work abroad can well-prepare themselves for the demands of the global labor market by gaining the necessary skills early on,” Baldoz finally said. End/hjtg

Created Aug 26th 2014, 10:55


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