Proposal to ban ‘illiterates’ for Saudi domestic jobs irks OFWs group

FILIPINO migrants rights group Migrante-Middle East (M-ME) described as ‘absurd, futile band-aid solution’ the proposal put forward by the Philippine Association of Service Exporters, Inc. (PASEI) to the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) to ban ‘illiterate’ maids in working to Saudi Arabia.

“PASEI proposal is not only illogical but would left no option at all to what it called ‘illiterates’, amid the economic hardship hitting hard the poor ‘illiterates’ in the Philippines,” said John Leonard Monterona, Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator.

He added that the poor ‘illiterates’ need training and support programs instead of being excluded.

“I doubt if PASEI-member recruiters are providing or willing to train, without cost, their recruits prior to their deployment,” Monterona added.

He cited, for instance, in the implementation of the recently inked new standard contract for Household Service workers (HSWs) between the Philippines and Saudi Arabia, the Philippine-based recruiters, including PASEI, performs vital role in the monitoring aspect.

“Philippine recruiters  must see to it that their deployed workers are receiving rightful wages, being treated well by their employers, with good living accommodation, and are not subjected to various labor malpractices and abuses,” Monterona adding that PH recruiters are mandated by law (RA10022) to look after their deployed workers.

“Let us say, even if the intention of the new standard contract is ‘good’ but if it’s not honestly implemented, then it will defeat its purpose,” Monterona averred.

Monterona added that PASEI recruiters failed to recognize the root causes why, in the first place, millions of unemployed and underemployed Filipinos are forced to leave the country to work or look for jobs abroad.

“Band-aid solutions have been proven useless given the huge negative effect of forced migration phenomenon to overseas Filipino workers and families, and the society at large,” Monterona said.

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