Filipino maids covering up contract substitution?

ABU DHABI — Filipino domestic servants are cautioned against covering up any contract substitution which allegedly starts at the time they sign their employment contract in Manila, and urged to report it immediately to the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi.

By Lily B. Libo-on (Our staff reporter)

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Published: Sat 24 May 2008, 9:16 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 7:12 PM

This modus operandi is allegedly being used by sponsors here, who reportedly have separate arrangement with the Filipino domestic helpers through their manpower agency in Manila.

Nasser Munder, Labour Attache at the Philippine Embassy, is urging every domestic helper involved to immediately report any request from their manpower agents to sign the labour contract reflecting the government-approved US$400 monthly salary but are secretly offered a salary lower than this directly to the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) before leaving Manila.

“If they immediately inform the POEA, the government can easily sanction the manpower agency involved, the maximum penalty of which calls for revocation of its business licence to operate and to recruit manpower for overseas placement.

Currently, the Philippine Embassy has received three official complaints from overworked Filipino domestic helpers involving contract substitution. However, many have come up confirming their sponsors’ scheming decision urging them to sign the government-approved US$400 monthly though they are actually receiving lesser amounts in the emirates.

But, of the many who have confirmed contract substitution and have come up in the open due to overworking, only three have willingly wanted it official and booked their complaints.

Munder said the Philippine Embassy cannot help them if they continue to cover up the substitution by their sponsors. “This non-cooperation on the part of the Filipino domestic servants makes it difficult for the Office of the Labour Attache to seek legal redress.”

He further advised the Filipino domestic helpers to be very careful and call the Philippine Embassy immediately if there is any such substitution or if they face any form of abuse while they are still in the residences of their sponsors.

“Most of them wait until they have no choice and run away from their employers,” Munder said, adding that the best thing to do is to call the Philippine Embassy at once and not to wait until they can no longer bear the ill treatment or abuse,” he added.

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