SAUDI SIGNS ACCORD WITH PH TO PROTECT PHILIPPINE MAIDS



[Women practice proper ways of washing dishes during a crash course in domestic duties in Manila before heading to the Middle East to work as domestic helpers. (AFP)]

MANILA, MAY 27, 2013
(INQUIRER) The Philippines said Monday it had signed a historic agreement with Saudi Arabia that would protect thousands of Filipina maids from being exploited in the Middle Eastern kingdom.

The agreement guarantees Filipina maids benefits like a day off each week while preventing their hiring costs from being deducted from their salary among other safeguards, said Labour Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz in a statement.

"We are very confident that cases of abuse will be less after this agreement takes effect because the agreement ensures fair and humane treatment of our HSWs (home service workers)," she said.

She estimated that 60,000 domestic helpers from among the 670,000 Filipino workers in Saudi Arabia would benefit from the accord which would also attract more Filipinas to work in Saudi Arabia.

Under the agreement, Saudi Arabia is committed to set up a 24-hour hotline for labour dispute resolution, the department said.

The agreement is aimed at preventing exploitation of Filipina maids such as confiscation of their passports to control them, overworking them with no rest days and preventing them from returning home.

It follows a row that erupted in 2011 when the Philippines insisted on a minimum wage for its maids among other measures.

Saudi Arabia initially resisted the demands and suspended the entry of new maids but in September of last year, it agreed to a $400 a month minimum wage and lifted the ban.

About 10 percent of the Philippine population of almost 100 million have gone abroad to work in better-paying jobs than they can get in their largely impoverished homeland.

FROM GULF NEWS

Saudi Arabia signs accord to protect Philippines maids Latest agreement guarantees Filipina maids benefits, like a weekly day off AFPPublished: 16:54 May 20, 2013


[Repatriated Filipino workers and relatives join protesters during a rally outside the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs in suburban Manila, Philippines on Tuesday May 21, 2013.]

The Philippines said on Monday it had signed a historic agreement with Saudi Arabia that would protect thousands of Filipina maids from being exploited in the Middle Eastern kingdom.

The agreement guarantees Filipina maids benefits like a day off each week while preventing their hiring costs from being deducted from their salary among other safeguards, said Labour Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz in a statement.

“We are very confident that cases of abuse will be less after this agreement takes effect because the agreement ensures fair and humane treatment of our HSWs (home service workers),” she said.

She estimated that 60,000 domestic helpers from among the 670,000 Filipino workers in Saudi Arabia would benefit from the accord which would also attract more Filipinas to work in Saudi Arabia.

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Under the agreement, Saudi Arabia is committed to set up a 24-hour hotline for labour dispute resolution, the department said.

The agreement is aimed at preventing exploitation of Filipina maids such as confiscation of their passports to control them, overworking them with no rest days and preventing them from returning home.

It follows a row that erupted in 2011 when the Philippines insisted on a minimum wage for its maids among other measures.

Saudi Arabia initially resisted the demands and suspended the entry of new maids but in September of last year, it agreed to a $400 a month minimum wage and lifted the ban.

About 10 per cent of the Philippine population of almost 100 million have gone abroad to work in better-paying jobs.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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