Philippine labor officials and their counterparts from the United Arab Emirates will be holding a high-level meeting on March 1 and 2 to discuss the possible resumption of deployment of Filipino workers to the UAE.
In a virtual briefing on Monday, International Labor Affairs Bureau Director Alice Visperas said that the two governments are set to iron out the standard employment contract for Filipino workers.
“Tungkol po ito sa pagpapadala ng ating mga kababayan sa United Arab Emirates so meron pa pong provisions na di pa po napag kakasunduan sa standadrd employment contract ito po ang pangunahing usapin sa meeting na ito,” Visperas said.
The labor official said that they are hoping that UAE officials will finally agree to the country’s proposed contract for workers to ensure the protection of OFWs in the Emirates.
“Yung passport hindi iwiwitheheld sa worker, may hours of work ‘yung place po maayos yung sweldo maayos din yung rest days dapat may ganong karapatan din na workers,” she added.
The Philippines has an existing bilateral labor agreement with UAE but it has not been enforced yet. The deployment of Filipino workers on the other hand has been suspended in the last four years.
Most of the Filipinos working in UAE entered the country through illegal channels and visit visa schemes.
“Nakakalungkot kasi sila ay dumaraan sa ibat ibang pamaraan sila ay nagpupunta po doon sa pmamagitan ng visit visa. Kapag meron ka pong visit visa kinoconvert po nila sa working visa,” she added.
There are now over 600.000 Filipinos in the UAE. 400,000 are in Dubai, while 200,000 are in Abu Dhabi according to DOLE’s data. (TDT)