Filipino workers’ wages rise in the Gulf

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Overseas Filipino workers (OFW) will get a monthly minimum wage of $400 in Dubai following a similar deal with Saudi Arabia, Arabian Business reported on November 15.

According to the report, the move follows a joint agreement between Philippine recruit agencies and Dubai, GMA News cited Philippine Labour Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz as saying.

OFWs experience unfair working conditions and abuse across the Gulf states, an issue that has begin to boil over starting earlier this year when the Qatari Emir’s visit to Manila lead to officials urging better compliance with Philippine labour laws.

In Qatar, “apart from receiving physical abuse, [domestic workers] are given multiple heavy tasks and a salary of less than 1,000 Qatari riyals a month,” Sitti Berkis Hamja, Banquet Sales Executive under the General Manager at Ezdan Hotel and Suites, told Inside Investor in October.

”Some housemaids try to escape from their boss to look for someone who can help and treat them like a human.”

Now signs of that the high-profile cases of mistreatment and controversy that inflamed Filipinos to petition the labour department and call for action from President Aquino are leading to the drafting of better labour laws. The rise in minimum wage is certainly a start.

“I am happy to note that the new SEC (Standard Employment Contract) for HSWs (household service workers) 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,” Baldoz said.

The agreement will also aim to end the practice of agencies charging excessive fees for Philippine nationals to get job placements.

There are an estimated 200,000 Filipinos working in Qatar and another 400,000 working in Dubai in positions that include household worker, labourers, technicians and retail salespeople, as well as higher management positions and engineers in some cases.

A further 1.2 million Filipinos work in Saudi Arabia.

An estimated 10 million Filipinos work overseas, contributing to the country’s continuously swelling remittances.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Overseas Filipino workers (OFW) will get a monthly minimum wage of $400 in Dubai following a similar deal with Saudi Arabia, Arabian Business reported on November 15.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Overseas Filipino workers (OFW) will get a monthly minimum wage of $400 in Dubai following a similar deal with Saudi Arabia, Arabian Business reported on November 15.

According to the report, the move follows a joint agreement between Philippine recruit agencies and Dubai, GMA News cited Philippine Labour Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz as saying.

OFWs experience unfair working conditions and abuse across the Gulf states, an issue that has begin to boil over starting earlier this year when the Qatari Emir’s visit to Manila lead to officials urging better compliance with Philippine labour laws.

In Qatar, “apart from receiving physical abuse, [domestic workers] are given multiple heavy tasks and a salary of less than 1,000 Qatari riyals a month,” Sitti Berkis Hamja, Banquet Sales Executive under the General Manager at Ezdan Hotel and Suites, told Inside Investor in October.

”Some housemaids try to escape from their boss to look for someone who can help and treat them like a human.”

Now signs of that the high-profile cases of mistreatment and controversy that inflamed Filipinos to petition the labour department and call for action from President Aquino are leading to the drafting of better labour laws. The rise in minimum wage is certainly a start.

“I am happy to note that the new SEC (Standard Employment Contract) for HSWs (household service workers) 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,” Baldoz said.

The agreement will also aim to end the practice of agencies charging excessive fees for Philippine nationals to get job placements.

There are an estimated 200,000 Filipinos working in Qatar and another 400,000 working in Dubai in positions that include household worker, labourers, technicians and retail salespeople, as well as higher management positions and engineers in some cases.

A further 1.2 million Filipinos work in Saudi Arabia.

An estimated 10 million Filipinos work overseas, contributing to the country’s continuously swelling remittances.

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