By Samuel Medenilla
To strengthen the protection of household service workers (HSW) deployed abroad, Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and its attached agencies signed on Tuesday a new memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Philippine Recruitment Agencies (PRA).
The agreement was approved during the Migrant Worker’s Day activity held by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).
Under the MOU, OWWA will help the members of the Coalition of Licensed Agencies for Domestic and Service Workers (CLADS) in putting up a help desk for their deployed HSWs.
“OWWA will conduct trainings for the designated Welfare Desk Officers (WDOs) under CLADS as well as provide relevant information and communication materials to WDOs, and issue certificate of training,” OWWA Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac said.
The new accord allows Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) to upgrade the training modules for PRAs.
“POEA shall integrate monitoring and reporting requirements and provision of welfare assistance to OFWs in the Continuing Agency Education Program (CAEP) for licensed PRAS,” Cacdac said.
For its parts, the CLADs’ will be required to comply with government regulations and to participate in the activities of OWWA and POEA.
Among CLADs commitment in the MOU are: sending focal persons to undergo OWWA training; establishing a regularly updated database on the status of their deployed workers; and creating a online forum where they could communicate with their workers.
Cacdac said they hope the MOU will help reduce incidents of abuses of Filipino HSWs in other countries through the empowerment of PRAs.
“It is not enough for PRAs to send workers abroad but more importantly, it is their responsibility to take good care of their workers. After all, one way or the other, the success of their workers is a reflection of how well they treat their workers,” Cacdac said.
The CLADS membership includes PRAs which send overseas Filipino workers (OFW) in the following countries: Singapore; Bahrain; Brunei; Hong Kong; Malaysia; Macau; Taiwan; Kuwait; Saudi Arabia; United Arab Emirates (UAE); Qatar; Oman; Jordan; Lebanon; Japan; Russia; and Europe.
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