UAE to protect rights of OFWs

DUBAI — Minister of Labour Saqr Ghobash Saeed Ghobash has vowed to join hands with Philippine Senator Jinggoy Joseph Estrada to institute measures directed at protecting the welfare of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in the UAE.



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

Published: Sat 12 Jul 2008, 1:40 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 6:10 PM

This was conveyed to Estrada during the senator's five-day official visit to Dubai and Abu Dhabi last weekend.

Estrada, chair of the Philippine Senate Committee on Labour, Employment and Human Resources Development and of the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on Labour and Employment, had a meeting with Saeed Ghobash to discuss several major labour concerns involving the OFWs in the UAE.

Discussed at the meeting, which was also attended by Philippine Ambassador to the UAE Libran N. Cabactulan, were the rampant contract substitution, protection and welfare of household service workers (HSWs) and the recruitment process of workers coming into the UAE to take up employment.

Estrada told Khaleej Times from Manila over the phone that at present, household service workers are not under the jurisdiction of the UAE Ministry of Labour, but are under the Ministry of Interior through the Department of Naturalisation and Residency.

Secondly, the recruitment of workers who arrive in the UAE on a visit visa is putting Filipino job-seekers in the UAE at a disadvantage, the senator said. "People travelling from the Philippines on visit or tourist visas are not subjected to the regulations of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).

On contract substitution, he said the OFWs with employment contracts verified by the Philippine labour attaches are, upon their arrival in the UAE, often forced by their employers to sign new work contracts, but with lower salaries and benefits. Estrada said there should be closer cooperation between the UAE and the Philippine governments to ensure that only standard contracts are registered by the UAE labour authorities.

Saeed Ghobash assured Estrada that he would seriously look into these problems. The minister is also likely to visit Manila in October this year.


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