The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has signed an agreement to benefit Filipino household service workers or domestic helpers who will work in KSA. Under the new pact, Filipinos who will work as domestic helpers need not to pay placement fees and any recruitment cost.
According to Labor secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said the agreement prohibits the deduction from the salary of a domestic worker for any recruitment cost. She added that penalties shall be imposed to agencies or employers who will violate the new rule.
Baldoz added that the agreement between the two countries was historic and they are hoping that other countries in the Middle East will also follow KSA’s action.
“The agreement is historic because this is the first time that the government signed an agreement of this nature with a labor destination country and we expect other countries in Middle East to follow and forge similar agreements with us,” she said.
She added that the agreement will help prevent contract substitution as the Saudi government pledge to fully enforce regulations of domestic helpers. Under the agreement, hiring of Filipino Dh will only be allowed through licensed recruitment agencies capable of complying with the regulations of KSA and Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).
Last year, DOLE and KSA government has also signed an agreement concerning the benefits of Filipino DH such as: salary not less than USD400, weekly rest days and daily rest periods, paid vacation leave, non-withholding of passports and work permits, free communication, and humane treatment.
“We are very confident that cases of abuse will be less after this agreement takes effect because the agreement ensures fair and humane treatment of our HSWs and involves not only the government, but also the private recruitment agencies and other stakeholders in its implementation,” she said.