MANILA, PHILIPPINES — A labor official said over the weekend that lifting the ban on the deployment of Filipino employees in several Middle Eastern countries is unwise.
Before making new policy announcements, Labor Attache Alejandro Padaen of the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Lebanon advised the DMW to “consult first the people on the ground” and “carefully study the situation in the destination countries.”
Padaen cited Lebanon as an example, claiming that the country is still reeling from the political and economic turmoil it has endured in recent years. As a result, he added, both countries were unable to reach an agreement on a standard labor contract, particularly those that covered domestic workers.
“Considering the economic aspect, it may not be the right time yet to deploy new hires in Lebanon. Several companies have closed down and we have not been deploying household service workers since 2007,” Padaen said in a statement.
“The Balik Manggagawa (Returning Workers) program that we process are those who have relatives here and have come through informal channels. It will be better if we assess first and study the situation before we start deploying again,” he added.
Returning OFWs who have established employment contracts and are registered under the Balik Manggagawa Program are permitted to return to Lebanon.
Around 19,000 Filipinos lived in Lebanon as of June 2021. However, due to continuing repatriation efforts, the number may be lower now.
Padaen stated that the POLO continues to process job orders in additional Middle Eastern nations, including Turkey, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Northern Cyprus.
Household service workers (HSWs) are in high demand in Turkey, and the POLO has already approved 11 overseas recruitment organizations.
The monthly wage for a household service worker (HSW) is USD800 (about PHP41,000), which is nearly double the wage in other countries. – WhatALife! / Francis
Also read: POEA bans OFW deployment in Ukraine
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