4 Mid-East nations reject domestic helpers’ proposed basic pay

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Sunday, February 3, 2013

RECRUITMENT consultant Emmanuel Geslani said Sunday that at least four more Middle East countries remain hostile to the $400 minimum wage requirement by the Philippines for its household service workers (HSWs).

Geslani received information that Kuwait, Qatar, United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Bahrain are still against the idea of the Philippines imposing minimum wage requirements for HSWs.

“Their officials are not in favor of granting visas for domestic helpers requested by foreign placement agencies in their countries given the $400 minimum salary required by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA),” said Geslani in a statement.

He said that opposition to the salary requirement is mainly due to the lack of bilateral talks with the Philippine government on the wage rate.

Geslani also noted that these countries do not have a minimum wage in their labor laws, which makes them perplexed with the basic salary requirement of the Philippines.

Because of this, Geslani said the industry is already expecting a slide in the hiring of Filipino HSWs for 2013.

“After topping the POEA statistics in 2010 and 2011, HSWs deployment is expected to go down by as much as 70 percent for 2013,” he said.

In 2011, deployment of HSWs reached 142,689 plus some 10,101 caregivers/caretakers, who are included in the category of HSWs.

Three years ago, deployed HSWs reached 96,583 along with the 9,293 caregivers/caretakers.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) previously expressed opposition to the wage requirement resulting in its unilateral ban in hiring Filipino HSWs.

However, in October of last year, the Saudi government changed its mind, prompting the resumption of HSW deployment.

Four of the top five destinations of HSWs are in the Middle East, namely the KSA, UAE, Kuwait, and Qatar. The other one is Hong Kong. (HDT/Sunnex)

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