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Filipino job-seekers advised not to come on visit visas

By Lily B. Libo-on (Our staff reporter) / 30 June 2008

ABU DHABI — The Philippine government has urged the Filipino nationals not to come to the UAE on visit visas to find jobs as they are more vulnerable to exploitation and likely to accept anything offered to them by the prospective employers to beat their visa expiry dates.

Philippine Ambassador to the UAE Libran N. Cabactulan issued this official statement as the UAE government is going to implement stricter requirements for visit and tourist visas from August 1 this year.

He said the UAE government is stipulating the new visit visa guidelines because it is better for both the country of origin and the UAE to have no people on visit visas if the same creates problems for workers, employers and their respective governments.

The Philippine Ambassador said of the 10 Filipino job-seekers who come on visit visas, only three or even less find the right job they have ever wanted. "Those who get jobs are also vulnerable to low salary offers and inhumane working conditions as the employers take advantage of the job-seeker's situation," he said.

He advised all Filipino workers to go to the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) in Manila to find out whatever jobs are available in the UAE and which manpower agencies are recruiting workers to fill in these vacancies before coming to Dubai. "If our job-seekers insist on finding jobs through the usual procedure, the employers here cannot offer them a salary much lower than what they should receive and won't have the chance to take advantage of them in any way," he added.

The UAE is now second to Saudi Arabia in hiring professional and skilled Filipino workers. Hence, there is a great opportunity for Filipinos to come here as a registered and bona fide worker through the usual employment channel instead of taking risks by coming on visit visas, the ambassador said.

Those who are already here must try their best to convert themselves into resident workers, he said. Once they get employed, they should register themselves with the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) at the Philippine Overseas Labour Office in Deira to avail themselves of all benefits and rights due to a Filipino overseas worker.

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