DOLE, recruitment firms ink pact to protect Pinoy maids abroad
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has partnered with a group of private recruitment agencies to reinforce its campaign to protect OFWs, particularly those working in high-risk countries.
The partnership was formalized in a memorandum of understanding that tasks the Coalition of Licensed Agencies for Domestic and Service Workers to extend full protection to Filipino domestic helpers abroad through the establishment of Welfare Help Desks from licensed Philippine Recruitment Agencies (PRA).
"This will help the labor department and our agencies in ensuring the protection and safety of our Filipino migrant workers on their workplace abroad," Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said in a statement Friday.
Also under the MOU, DOLE, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), and the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) are given access to monitor the status of CLAD members and their workers on their respective workplaces overseas.
The agreement was signed on the occasion of the celebration of Migrant Workers Day attended by Bello early this week.
CLAD member agencies cover deployment of OFWs in Singapore, Bahrain, Brunei, Hongkong, Malaysia, Macau, Taiwan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Oman, Jordan, Lebanon, Japan, Russia, and Europe.
Under the agreement, OWWA will conduct trainings for the designated Welfare Desk Officers (WDOs) under CLADS and provide them relevant information and communication materials as well as issue certificate of training completion.
POEA, on the other hand, will monitor and supervise PRA member of CLADS on their compliance to POEA rules and regulations; integrate monitoring and reporting requirements and provision of welfare assistance to OFWs in the Continuing Agency Education Program (CAEP) for licensed agencies.
CLADS is also tasked to provide a list of focal persons of the participating recruitment agencies and identify WDOs who will undergo the OWWA training; establish an agency based database to monitor deployment, conditions, well-being and status of employment of workers, including cases of repatriation; and establish an online forum for complaints and assistance for the deployed workers for ease of reporting cases and facilitate timely intervention.
It is also tasked to report to OWWA and POEA any form of incident relating to the employment of worker, including actions taken to assist the worker; and provide WDO other support services as deemed necessary.
"We look forward to the success of the MOU since majority of the welfare cases we received here in OWWA came from domestic workers who experience maltreatment, contract violation, sexual abuse, harassment, and other infraction of their rights," OWWA administrator Hans Leo Cacdac said.
The government and the recruitment agencies both have the responsibility to take good care of our modern day Filipino heroes," he added. —KBK, GMA News