Placement agencies in the Emirate of Dubai have agreed to give a $400 (more or less P16,500) monthly minimum salary for Filipino household workers, following the steps recently taken by Saudi Arabia.
According to Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz, this was after licensed recruitment agencies (LRAs) in the Philippines signed a joint statement of commitment with their counterpart placement agencies in Dubai.
Baldoz said the signing will pave the way for the full implementation of the many provisions of her department’s Household Reform Package for household service workers (HSWs), including the payment of the minimum monthly salary of $400 and non-charging of excessive fees.
The joint statement of commitment reinforces the positive developments in the Middle East region with regards the continued deployment of Filipino HSWs, said lawyer Delmer Cruz, labor attache-designate to Dubai.
Cruz was referring to Saudi Arabia’s decision favoring a $400 monthly minimum wage for Filipino household helpers a year after a row over the issue halted the entry of such workers.
Some 1.2 Filipinos are working in Saudi Arabia as laborers, technicians, salesgirls and domestic helpers while an estimated 450,000 are employed in Dubai. They are part of the estimated nine million Filipinos, or about 10 percent of the population, who work overseas and whose remittances back home are a major pillar of the economy.
"I am happy to note that the new SEC (Standard Employment Contract) for HSWs to be deployed to Saudi Arabia has motivated other Middle East countries to follow suit and also formulate their own modes of giving our HSWs the kind of protection they truly deserve," said Baldoz.
Cruz said another important provision of the joint statement of commitment is the perennial problem of repatriation.
"I am happy to report to the Secretary that the Philippine LRAs and the Dubai FPas have agreed to solve the problem once and for all. Together, they will facilitate the repatriation of distressed workers they deploy and cooperate fully with proper authorities in doing so," said Cruz. — KB