PRA Ready to Deploy 30,000 Filipino Domestic Workers to UAE
The Private Recruitment Agencies (PRA) will soon deploy 30,000 Household Service Workers (HSWs) to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The deployment is in accordance with a new labor agreement between the Philippines and UAE.
On March 2, 2021, Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Undersecretary Claro Arellano represented the Philippines during the agreement, while Saif Ahmed Alsuwaidi represented the UAE on its behalf.
Philippine Association of Manpower Agencies (PAMA) President Madolyn Uanang will lead the mobilization of the HSWs to UAE. At present, Uanang is coordinating with Tadbeer, a new labor agency set up by the UAE government, to handle the recruitment of HSWs.
The new accord aims to decrease the trafficking of employees to UAE through the illegal use of tourist visas facilitated through recruitment syndicates.
The agreement offers domestic workers a monthly salary of 1,500 AED (dirhams), equivalent to ₱21,000, without a reduction of placement fees collected from local agencies.
Recruitment Consultant Manny Geslani stated, “There will be no salary deduction, and the cost of medical examinations, visa fees and local accommodation will be shouldered by the local recruitment agency.”
According to Geslani, an estimated 150,000 Filipino domestic workers have been trafficked into Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and Afghanistan by syndicates since 2003 until 2020, “with the majority of the women arriving in Lebanon after the Lebanon-Israeli war of 2006.”
Geslani noted, “Tadbeer will now handle the entry of all expatriate women domestic workers into Dubai.”
Under the new accord, a new employee contract has been drafted similar to those of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. The new contract grants Filipino domestic workers the following rights:
- right to at least eight continuous hours of sleep every night;
- right to receive a paid break outside the residence of the employer at least one full day every week; and
- right to keep his/her passport or identification documents (the employer is not allowed to hold them).
Among other agreements, the employers must abide by the following:
- they shall allow the domestic worker/s to have and use cellular phones and other communication devices and they prohibited from confiscating them;
- opening of bank account under the name of the domestic worker/s for payment of salary; and
- allowing the domestic worker/s to cook his/her own food.
The Philippines has not deployed any domestic workers to UAE since 2014 due to several disagreements on provisions on the unified employee contract.