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UAE opens doors to domestic helpers

April 25, 2021 People's Journal 270 views

MORE than 30,000 household workers (HSWs) or domestic helpers (DHs) will be mobilized by private recruitment agencies (PRAs) for the United Arab Emirates, according to a new labor accord signed by the Philippines and UAE.

After six long years, the new labor accord signed by the Philippine and UAE last March 2,2021 by representatives of the Department of Labor Undersecretary Claro Arellano and Saif Ahmed Alsuwaidi, undersecretary of Human Resources and Emiratisation deployment of the OFWS was set to start March 31,2021.

The mobilization of the HSWs will be led by the association deploying to UAE Philippine Association of Manpower Agencies to UAE (UAE PAMAUAE), said association president Ms. Madolyn Uanang who isget now coordinating with Tadbeer, the new government agency set up by the UAE to handle the recruitment of HSWs for job orders.

It was learned that the new labor accord signed by the Philippines and UAE will give the workers an opportunity to work in view of the very low deployment of HSWs to the Middle East at this time with the Saudi and Kuwait domestic markets are still closed due to travel restrictions.

Workers of every country’s must comply with COVID rules upon arrival agreed upon by both countries to resolve the trafficking of workers to UAE by the use of tourist visas.

The domestic workers will be receiving a monthly salary of 1,500 dirhams or the equivalent of US$ 420 with no placement fee collected by local agencies.

There will be no salary deduction, all costs pertaining to the recruitment like medical exams, visa fees, local accommodation will be shouldered by the local recruitment agency.

The new labor accord will now allow local recruitment agencies to deploy HSWs legally in cooperation with the new UAE labor office called Tadbeer which will now handle the entry of all expatriate women domestic helpers into Dubai.

Ms. Uanang of PRA welcomed this development as they have not been deploying DHs to Dubai since 2014 when both the Philippines and UAE had several disagreements on provisions of the unified employment contract.

The new employment contract which is similar to employment contracts forged by the Philippines with Kuwait and Saudi Arabia grants DHs certain privileges.

The right of the domestic worker to take at least eight continuous hours of sleep every night; the right of the domestic worker to take a break that is paid, outside the residence of the employer at least one full day every week; and the right of the domestic worker to keep his/her passport or identification documents and the employer is not allowed to hold them.

Also, 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;

Opening of bank account under the name of the domestic worker for payment of salary; and allowing helpers to cook their own food..

Based on records, over 150,000 Filipina domestic helpers have been trafficked to Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan between 2003-2020 with themajority of the women arriving in Lebanon after the Lebanon-Isareli war in 2006.

Trafficking of women and even men has been a constant activity in Philippine international airports, including the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. By Willy M. Balasa