The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Wednesday ordered the installation of Foreign Labor Operations Information System (FLOIS) in all 37 Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLOs) worldwide to prevent cases of sexual abuse against Filipinos.
Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz explained that under the FLOIS, all POLO transactions will be recorded and made accessible to DOLE, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).
“The FLOIS will allow us to monitor the number of wards being accommodated in our Migrant Workers and Other Filipinos Resource Centers, commonly known as Bahay Kalinga,” the Labor chief said.
In a separate order, the DOLE also outlawed the engagement of distressed OFWs to any work or employment, whether full-time or part-time, while they are in the Bahay Kalinga.
“No ward shall be allowed or permitted to perform volunteer work in the offices of the embassy, Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO), and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) officers and staff,” Administrative Order No. 262 stated.
Baldoz said distressed OFWs are also not allowed to work in the households of embassy and POLO officers and staff. She added that only designated female center supervisors shall be allowed to live or reside in the center.
The labor chief earlier said they will deploy 13 female officials and one male officer to the Middle East. Nine officers will be assigned to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), three in Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and two in Kuwait.
“These personnel will leave as soon as accreditation by the respective host governments is obtained,” she said.
Meanwhile, Baldoz said the conclusion of the first Philippines-KSA Joint Committee meet resulted in the forging of an agreement to exert more efforts to prevent cases of runaway household service workers.
Under the agreement, both countries will provide assistance to runaway workers and introduce reforms in the process of recruitment and deployment of domestic workers.
The two countries also agreed to monitor the so-called “mega” recruitment companies, which commit to provide protection services to domestic workers including shelter and accommodation as well as assistance to distressed domestic workers.
The agreement followed the Philippines -KSA bilateral agreement on the Recruitment and Deployment of Domestic Workers signed in May 2013.