No ban on sending maids to UAE

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The government has not banned the sending of maids to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), authorities said on Friday.

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In fact, Dolly Uanang, president of Coalition of Licensed Agencies Deploying Domestic and Service Workers (Clauds), said they continuously send maids to UAE.

Reports of the ban followed the UAE’s Interior Ministry issuance of a directive to their local recruitment agencies not to follow rules and regulations of the Philippine government on the deployment of household and service workers (HSWs), which refers not only to domestic helpers but also to gardeners, family drivers, cooks and nannies.

This UAE Interior Ministry memorandum is at odds with the procedures followed by Manila.

The POEA only issues travel documents to Filipino maids provided a Philippine recruitment agency has secured a contract with its counterpart in the UAE that guarantees, among others, the $400 monthly pay. This certification is issued solely by the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO), an attached agency of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). POLOs exist in countries where there are Filipino migrant workers.

The Interior Ministry, however, said in its memorandum effective June 1, 2014 that its recruitment firms are not required to seek certification from the POLO. Direct hiring is illegal between UAE and the Philippines.

Currently, there are 31,000 Filipino household workers in UAE, according to Hans Cacdac, POEA administrator. In 2007, they remitted $53 million or 3.67 percent of the total OFW remittances. Some 600 professional (60 percent) and semi-skilled (25 percent) OFWs are in UAE.

Cacdac told a Manila forum also on Friday that the only solution to the contradicting rules and regulations is to come up with a bilateral agreement between the Philippines and UAE.

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