Manila mulls ban on sending maids to Gulf
Manama, August 29, 2012
Manila is mulling over a plan to stop sending domestic workers to Bahrain and the Gulf within five years as part of its labour policy shake-up to prevent skilled people from ending up in low-paid jobs such as housemaids.
The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) head Hans Leo Cacdac said most domestic workers travelling abroad were teachers and nurses who could "find better, higher-paying and less vulnerable jobs here and abroad", according to a report in the Philippines daily newspaper Inquirer.
He revealed a committee had been set up by Labour and Employment Department Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz to investigate the proposal, which will seek to create a "broader programme that will help prospective OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers) decide about other job options aside from being HSWs (household service workers)."
It is expected to collect data on the educational skills of Filipinos working as domestic workers overseas, which region they come from and other details to identify whether prospective OFWs could be further trained to get high-paid jobs.
But Cacdac said the POEA had ruled out a total ban on sending domestic workers abroad, stressing there were certain types of jobs in Europe that were high paying.
"Hopefully, before the end of the year, we'd be able to finalise the plan," he said. "It's better to have a plan than not having one."
There are more than 45,000 Filipinos living in Bahrain.
According to the latest POEA figures, this includes 21,254 domestic workers and the country ranks among the top 10 destinations for new hires in the field.
Bahrain also registered the biggest average annual increase in hiring domestic workers with 52.5 per cent, followed by Qatar with 43.4 per cent, the UAE at 42.2 per cent, Kuwait with 30.3 per cent, Saudi Arabia with 26.3 per cent and Oman with 15.7 per cent between 2006 and last year. – TradeArabia News Service