Filipino maids to get ‘model job contract’ Thursday, 10 November 2011 05:39
By CHRIS V PANGANIBAN
DOHA: Qatar is working to have a ‘model job contract’ for Filipino maids so that their government doesn’t ban them from taking up employment here.
Manila, as is known, is planning to impose a ban on the recruitment of Filipino maids in the GCC states citing what it says are inadequate laws to protect their rights.
The Philippine Ambassador to Qatar, Crescente Relacion, said yesterday a committee from Qatar’s Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Labour is working on a ‘model contract’ that provides measures, including protection of the rights of Filipino housemaids.
Relacion said the proposed contract, once applicable, would serve as a “stop gap” measure that would cite specific provisions to ensure that the rights of some 26,000 of Filipino domestic helpers in Qatar are guaranteed.
The Philippine Embassy is still waiting from the committee to finish working on the model contract policy about which they learned after Ramadan.
The proposal to ban Filipino housemaids to work in the GCC countries, however, is under review for six months or until April 2012 by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) in response to legislative action by the Philippine Congress.
The Philippine Congress has given the POEA six more months to review the certification issued by Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) in respect of 31 other countries, including those in the Middle East.
The POEA has recently issued a resolution to impose a ban on housemaids to a further 31 of the 41 initially-listed as ‘non compliant’ countries on bilateral labour agreements based on the certification of the DFA.
According to reports in the Philippine media, the DFA has certified Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries as “partially compliant” which means that they can provide protection to only skilled OFWs.
A government official said partial compliance means that the DFA recommended the ban on the recruitment of Filipino housemaids to the Gulf countries in which implementation could stay until April 2012.
Relacion, however, said the Philippine government has been cautious about enforcing the policy of partial compliance ban considering that affected countries may retaliate by repatriating thousands of skilled OFWs.
The POEA is considering the deferment for three months of the ban of the 41 countries that were earlier certified by DFA as unsafe for OFWs.
Under the amended Migrant Workers Act, the Philippine government is only allowed to send Overseas Filipino Workers to countries with existing bilateral agreements or existing policies ensuring their welfare and protection. The Peninsula