POLOs to provide incentives and rewards to ‘good employers’—Baldoz

Date Posted: November 25th, 2014 01:44 AM


POLOs to provide incentives and rewards to ‘good employers’—Baldoz Doha—On the last day of a two-day official visit to Qatar, her first as labor and employment chief, Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz met with selected members of Qatar’s private recruitment services sector and reiterated a new policy to further secure the welfare and protection of overseas Filipino workers: an incentives and rewards system for excellent performance in the hiring of Filipino workers that she would like to see rolled out in January. “I have unveiled this new policy when I met yesterday with H.E. Dr. Abdulla Saleh Al-Khulaifi, Qatar Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, and I want to reiterate that we are pushing for its implementation the earliest in January 2015,” Secretary Baldoz said to the members of Qatar’s private recruitment services sector, also called foreign placement agencies (FPAs), at a meeting at the Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Baldoz was joined in the meeting by Philippine Ambassador to Qatar Crescente Relacion, DOLE Undersecretary in charge of the Middle East Ciriaco Lagunzad, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration chief Hans Leo J. Cacdac, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration head Rebecca Calzado, Philippine Overseas Labor Office head Labor Attache Leopoldo de Jesus, Welfare Officer Amy Empanado, and International Labor Affairs Bureau Director Saul de Vries. Earlier in her meeting with Minister Al-Khulaifi, Baldoz said the POEA, an attached agency of the DOLE, is continuously reviewing its rules and regulations to make it easy for foreign employers to hire Filipino workers. “There is no reason why we should make it difficult for them to employ Filipinos, who are very well-liked here in Qatar and globally-preferred, when they treat them well,” Baldoz told Al-Khulaifi. The incentives and rewards system that Baldoz directed the POEA and POLOs to establish should have more or less the same criteria as those for the Excellence Awards that the POEA, under her term as its administrator, conferred on outstanding foreign employers and which she said the POEA is reviving soon. “The idea is to reward excellence in the recruitment of Filipino workers and best performance in ensuring their protection and welfare. It will really separate the chaff from the grain, the notorious under-performers from the consistently excellent ones, and I am sure there are many of them, not only in Qatar, but in other parts of the world,” Baldoz explained. “This will certainly promote legal and ethical recruitment,” she added. The labor and employment chief said some of the incentives that could be incorporated in the system include relaxation of approval and accreditation of principals, approval of open job order systems, and express lane for workers’ documentation and processing. The criteria could also include a ‘no-case’ track record, meaning the employer or FPA has not been complained about in the POLO, POEA, and in Qatari government bodies, as well as a measure of the readiness of POEA-licensed recruitment agency-partners of FPAs to deploy workers fast and according to employers’ requirements, which could only be made possible if the recruitment agencies have a ready pool of qualified manpower. “We are considering two categories under the incentives and rewards system—one for household service workers, or domestic workers, and another for the skilled and the professionals,” she stated. Baldoz expressed confidence that with the incentives and rewards system, a much-reduced time of processing the hiring of an OFW, from nearly three months to only a month from the time the employer gives the job order to the agency, will be achieved. She also said that the POEA is ready to engage Qatar authorities in the Philippines, particularly the Qatar Embassy, if the delay in the processing of documents which some of the FPAs attributed to the embassy, is valid. “This policy, to be very safe and effective would need the consideration and approval of the POEA Governing Board which I chair,” Baldoz said. She set the deadline of end of the month for the policy to be refined. “I want it officially unveiled and announced at the POLO Conference set for 18-19 December,” she stated. Relative to this, Baldoz instructed Administrator Cacdac, ILAB Director de Vries, and Labor Attache Leopoldo de Jesus, whom she also asked to join the 3rd Abu Dhabi Dialogue in Kuwait this week, to already develop and finalize the system’s criteria for all POLOs. Baldoz categorically stated, however, that the incentives and rewards system will not in any way compromise the protection and welfare of OFWs. “On the other hand it should underline it and it must contribute to more enhanced and stronger protection for all OFWs,” she said. END

Created Nov 25th 2014, 11:46


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