Exclusive: Filipino expats’ new UAE contract verification rules put on hold, official says

The new requirements — which were supposed to be come into force on February 1 — are met with resistance, but the Philippine labour office stresses that ‘the aim is not to trouble people’

by

Nasreen Abdulla

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KT file photo used for illustrative purposes
KT file photo used for illustrative purposes

Published: Sat 28 Jan 2023, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Sun 29 Jan 2023, 6:21 AM

The plan to introduce new requirements for Filipino expats’ UAE contract verification process has been put on hold until further notice, a top official from the Philippines’ Migrant Workers Office (MWO) in Dubai told Khaleej Times.

Changes in the policy were supposed to come into effect on February 1 but were met with stiff resistance from the Filipino public. Labour Attaché John Rio A. Bautista — who heads the MWO mission in Dubai and the Northern Emirates (formerly Philippine Overseas Labour Office or Polo) — confirmed that the shift won’t be implemented on Wednesday.


“Our aim was not to trouble people,” Bautista said. “However, we have noticed an increased number of contracts where there are discrepancies. That is why the Philippine government decided to bring in new requirements for contract verification.”

He gave the example of Filipina M.M. who has been working as a domestic worker for a few years in the country. “This year, her contract has come for verification, (and her papers indicated that) she is a store manager,” he said. “Obviously when we see something like this, we have to dig deeper and ask for additional documents.”


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The process explained

Filipinos living and working in the UAE must have their work contracts verified by the MWO. Currently, the requirements are:

>> Valid employment contract

>> Passport

>> Visa/ Emirates ID

>> Any proof of current employment

“According to the new rules, when it comes into being, only the valid employment contract, passport and visa was required,” said Bautista.

“If there is any discrepancy in documents or we feel like we need to dig deeper, we can request any additional documents — including the company’s trade licence, wage protection system record and academic credentials.”

There are four channels for Filipinos in the country to request for contract verification: Appointment, online submission, walk-in, or authorised representatives.

A person can book an appointment and appear in person for the verification or submit an application online. Every week, there are 500 slots for online verification.

In case of emergencies, anyone can walk in to the MWO office (previously called Polo office) to get swift verification. “They just need to present proof that they have a plane ticket for the following day and we will arrange for their documentation to be done quickly,” said Bautista.

Those who are in the Philippines but have received and offer to work in the UAE can get their contract verified through a friend or family member in the country. The authorised representative should go in person to the MWO/Polo office for the service.

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