By Roy Mabasa
The Philippine government today announced the repatriation of 51 Filipino women who went to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as tourists, found work but eventually left their sponsors or agencies due to maltreatment, abuse, and non-payment of salaries.
This latest batch of overseas workers brings to a total of 702 Filipinos who were repatriated from the UAE since the start of this year alone, according to the Philippine Embassy in the capital city of Abu Dhabi.
Philippine Embassy Charge d’Affaires Rowena Pangilinan-Daquipil said they continue to work side-by-side with UAE authorities to address the concerns of overseas Filipinos, especially Household Service Workers (HSWs).
“With the signing of the UAE Law for Domestic Workers and the Philippines-UAE Memorandum of Understanding on Labor Cooperation in 2017, the Embassy hopes that incidents of abuse, maltreatment, detention, and other complaints by Filipino domestic workers will drop significantly,” she said.
Moreover, Pangilinan-Daquipil said the UAE has implemented measures to ensure the rights of Filipino domestic workers in the Middle East country are protected.
These measures include transferring jurisdiction of HSWs from the Ministry of Interior to the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization; allowing Filipino domestic workers rights on dispute resolution; the opening of Tadbeer Centers that will conduct the recruitment of expatriate workers in the UAE; and assuring Filipinos that will enjoy protection mandated by the new UAE Law for Domestic Workers.
There are around 626,000 Filipinos who consider the UAE as their second home while close to 217,000 Filipinos are currently living or working in Abu Dhabi, the Embassy said.
The Department of Foreign Affairs shouldered the cost of the repatriation, including the exit visas and the airfare to the provinces, of the distressed workers, using the Assistance to Nationals Fund.