‘Model job contract’ for Filipino helpers in Qatar

November 11, 2011

Qatar is working on a ‘model job contract’ for Filipino domestic helpers to ensure their government does not ban them from taking up employment in the Gulf country, Qatari media said.

Manila is planning to impose a ban on the recruitment of Filipino helpers in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states, citing “inadequate laws to protect their rights”.

According to Crescente Relacion, the Philippine Ambassador to Qatar, a committee from Qatar’s Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Labour is working on a ‘model contract’ that provides new measures, including the protection of the rights of Filipino domestic helpers.

Rights ensured

Relacion said the proposed contract would serve as a “stop gap” measure that would cite specific provisions to ensure that the rights of 26,000 of Filipino domestic helpers in Qatar are guaranteed, Qatari daily The Peninsula reported.

The Philippine embassy is still waiting from the committee to finish working on the model contract policy.

The proposal to ban Filipino housemaids to work in the GCC countries, however, is under review for six months, until April 2012 by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) in response to legislative action by the Philippine Congress.

The Philippine Congress has given the POEA six more months to review the certification issued by Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) in respect of 31 other countries, including those in the Middle East, the daily said.

Ban on domestic helpers

The POEA has recently issued a resolution to impose a ban on domestic helpers to a further 31 of the 41 initially-listed as ‘non-compliant’ countries on bilateral labour agreements based on the certification of the DFA.

According to reports in the Philippine media, the DFA has certified Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries as “partially compliant”, meaning they can provide protection to only skilled OFWs.

A government official said partial compliance meant that the DFA recommended the ban on the recruitment of Filipino domestic helpers to the Gulf countries in which implementation could remain until April 2012.

Partial compliance

Relacion, however, said the Philippine government has been cautious about enforcing the policy of partial compliance ban considering that affected countries may retaliate by repatriating thousands of skilled OFWs.

The POEA is considering the deferment for three months of the ban of the 41 countries that were earlier certified by DFA as unsafe for OFWs.

Under the amended Migrant Workers Act, the Philippine government is allowed to send Overseas Filipino Workers only to countries with which it has bilateral agreements or policies ensuring their welfare and protection.





About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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