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Filipino Maid Industry ‘could Die Soon’ As Agencies Flout Rules
A representative from a fraternity of Philippine placement agencies’ association said at a multilateral meeting held in Dubai that the business of supplying maids from Philippines to the United Arab Emirates is in risk of dying. The official further cautioned the Foreign Placement Agencies (FPAs) inside the UAE must follow the rules fixed by the government of Philippines.
The gathering was a feature of the goodwill exercise of the Coalition of Licensed Agencies for Domestic Workers (CLADS) to the Emirates, to determine if the industry will resume or will be ruined by the continuous breach of the rules concerning hiring Filipina housemaids.
The CLADS chairman said that they request maid agency in Dubai and other parts of UAE to completely fulfill the law especially the minimum salary of US$400 to be paid to housemaids. And if they do not abide by the law concerning minimum salary, then they will not provide maids in the UAE.
The Philippine restructured program package makes sure housemaids are protected by paying them a minimum monthly salary of US$400, minimum age of employment of 23 years and zero placement fees.
This reform package was announced in 2006 but the Philippine labor secretary started rigorously putting it into effect in August 2012. Consequently, many Philippine agencies not following the rules have been penalized with precautionary suspensions and blacklisting.
There has been a strong increase in placements of housemaids in the UAE in the previous three years, after Singapore and Hong Kong according to the POEA figures. But the number of instances of absconding maids increased from 775 in 2011 to 725 cases already from January-October 2012. Therefore, they were forced to curb the job orders to 30 for each agency. Similarly, the Philippine labor attaché temporarily suspended job orders of maid agency Dubai and other places who have had absconding maids and who have been negligent on regulations.
In reaction, most of the 100 FPAs that were present in the meeting signed a combined resolution to consent to implement the reform package strictly but requested to increase back the quantity of job orders to 100 because they were at a danger of losing their business. Some FPAs argued that they cannot fulfill the reform package because unofficial placement agencies make competition harder as they offer lesser salaries for maids. They add that they are willing to implement the reforms; however, Philippine government should also control the unauthorized labor placement agencies. There are Dubai maid agency who do not have a license and despite that they supply housemaids which has affected business of authorized maid agency in Dubai.
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