Deployment of domestic workers to Qatar in a three-year decline; so are the welfare cases involving 'runaways'—Baldoz

Date Posted: September 22nd, 2014 01:47 AM

 

Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday said the deployment of Filipino domestic workers to Qatar has been on a declining trend for the last three years, and consequently, so are the number of 'runaways'--domestic workers leaving their employers and seeking shelter at the Migrant Workers and Other Filipinos Resource Center, also known as the Filipino Workers Resource Center. "I have received a report from Labor Attache Leopoldo De Jesus who is assigned in Qatar saying that based on the verified individual employment contracts and job orders, the deployment of Filipino domestic workers to that country has been on the downtrend during the last three years," said Baldoz. Labor Attache De Jesus's report show that from a high of 33,303 verified employment contracts for domestic workers in 2012, the number has drastically went down to 3,967 in 2013. This is confirmed by data of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) showing that in 2012, the total number of deployed domestic workers to Qatar reached 18,018 new hires and 1,314 re-hires (those coming back to their employers for a repeat contract), or a total of 19,332. In 2013, the total deployment of domestic workers to Qatar went down drastically to 3,563 new hires and 1,329 re-hires, or a total of 4,892. It should be noted that not all verified employment contracts and job orders are filled-up. De Jesus cited as reason for the decline the implementation by Qatar of its unannounced restriction in the hiring of Filipino domestic workers owing to the Philippines's 2007 Household Service Workers Reform Package which strictly requires a minimum salary of US$400 per month for all Filipino domestic workers deployed, among other requirements. "The State of Qatar does not agree to this minimum wage for Filipino domestic workers; restricted the issuance of visa; and tapped other countries for their domestic workers' needs," said De Jesus. According to De Jesus, however, the number of deployed domestic workers to Qatar have picked up starting February 2014, and has tallied to 5,077 during the six-month period this year. "Qatari and other expatriate households have expressed preference for Filipino domestic workers in view of their competence, honesty, patience, and English language proficiency, so Qatar may have relaxed its restrictions. On the part of the POLO, we continue to strictly implement the reform package for HSWs, restriction or no restriction," he said. As a result of the decline in the deployment of domestic workers, 'runaways' accommodated at the FWRC also exhibited a downtrend, according to De Jesus. "From 1,502 wards accommodated in 2012, the number decreased to 1,170 in 2013. In the six-month period of 2014, this number went down farther to only 182," he said. Secretary Baldoz expressed hope the declining trend in the deployment of domestic workers to Qatar will continue. As to other country destinations of Filipino domestic workers, she said the DOLE continues to strengthen its national reintegration program for OFWs in pursuit of the Aquino III administration's return-home migration policy, which seeks for "a government that creates jobs at home, so that working abroad will be a choice rather than a necessity" from a government that treats its people as an export commodity and a means to earn foreign exchange, disregarding the social cost to Filipino families". "Our national reintegration program priority is to bring home our domestic workers and other workers who are in vulnerable situations because we maintain that they will be better protected in the Philippines," she said. END



Created Oct 23rd 2014, 15:09

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