OFWs Warned vs. Agencies using Illegal Means to Send Maids to UAE

Despite the virtual ban on sending Filipino household helpers to the United Arab Emirates, local recruiters have found ways to skirt this, a TV report said Wednesday.

Citing the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA), the report on GMA News TV’s “Balitanghali” said such agencies lie to the OFW regarding his or her real job or occupancy, or reprocess them and issue two different working visas.

Some licensed recruiters also disguise themselves as referral agencies for unlicensed firms and create fake certifications from POEA and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) to further confound the system.

The report said around 20 agencies had been shut down since June 2014 while 10 others had been suspended for these infractions.

“Pagka may pinarusahan tayong Philippine recruiter, sabay nun yung UAE counterpart ay pinagbabawal na rin nating mag-recruit ng manggagawang Pilipino,” said POEA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac in the report.

He added the continued use of fake certificates means part of the fees paid by foreign employers were pocketed by unscrupulous individuals.

Cacdac clarified that while the Philippines had decreased the deployment of domestic helpers to the UAE due to its unified contract that is not favorable to Filipino workers, there was no ban on the deployment.

“Walang ban… Sabihin na nating ang unified contract na ito ay hindi tugma sa mga Philippine standards of protection. In other words, maraming kulang dun sa unified contract,” he said.

Last January 23, reports surfaced of a black market for Filipino household helpers emerging in the UAE due to the country’s standard contract for housemaids.

The contract and its subsequent circular stopping embassies from verifying contracts conflict with Philippine laws, creating a virtual ban on deployment to the UAE.

(Source: Rie Takumi/KBK, GMA News)

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