IT IS ABOUT TIME. Steps are now being taken by the Philippine government to guarantee the safety of OFWs in Kuwait.
The Philippines and Kuwait have both signed the “Agreement on the Employment of Domestic Workers between the Philippines and Kuwait” on May 11. The agreement ensures that Filipino workers in the Gulf state will be provided with legal protection.
Some of the highlights of the said agreement include:
- Guaranteeing the rights of domestic workers based on the laws, rules, and regulations of Kuwait.
- Ensuring that the employer provides food, housing, clothing for the domestic worker and registering him or her in the health insurance system.
- Preventing employers from confiscating cellular phones of workers so they can communicate with their families and government.
- Pursuing legal action against employers who have a record of abusing workers and then disqualifying them from recruiting Filipino workers.
Other notable content of the agreement are as follows:
“Facilitate the opening by the employer of bank account under the name of the domestic worker and allow the domestic worker the reasonable opportunity to remit her/his monthly salary to the Philippines as provided for in the employment contract”;
“Ensure that an aggrieved worker shall have access to the services of the Department of Domestic Labor which has the jurisdiction to settle any dispute that arises between the parties to the contract”;
“Upon the renewal of the contract after its completion based on the desire of two parties (I.W the employer and the domestic worker) or transfer of residency of a domestic worker to another employer, two copies of the bilateral contract approved by the State of Kuwait shall be issued between the domestic worker and the new employer to ensure that the worker consent to the transfer, she or he should presented to the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) upon the submission of the new contract”;
“Facilitate the repatriation of domestic workers upon contract completion or labor contract violation in accordance with the laws and regulations of the First Party (Kuwait)”;
“Strictly enforce the agreed wage in contract and minimum age requirement in accordance with the laws and regulations of the First Party”;
“Provide legal assistance to workers concerning violation of labor contract or the existing domestic worker law”; and
“Establish a mechanism which shall provide 24-hour assistance to the domestic worker.”
To hold up the Philippines’ end of the bargain, the PH government must ensure that the domestic workers arriving in Kuwait have met the medical requirements imposed by the Kuwaiti government and that they were oriented on the Kuwaiti laws, customs and traditions.
The domestic workers must also possess good behavior and have no criminal records. While working there, all OFWs are to follow Kuwaiti laws, morals, ethics and customs.
Furthermore, recruitment agencies in the Philippines are forbidden from imposing any unauthorized deductions from the salaries of the domestic workers.
via Manila Bulletin / Analou De Vera