DMW sets initiatives to ensure migrant domestic workers’ safety

DMW sets initiatives to ensure migrant domestic workersâ safety
An overseas Filipino worker has her temperature taken prior to checking in at the counters of the NAIA-1 departure area yesterday(May 29, 2021).
Krizjohn Rosales, file

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) is working on imposing stricter initiatives to ensure the safety of Overseas Filiino Workers (OFWs), especially guidelines on domestics workers, such as creating a “white list” of recruitment agencies.

DMW Secretary Susan “Toots” Ople also said that the department wants to take a “rights-based” approach in their securing their welfare. The department also tasked the Philippine Overseas Labor Offices to review its current and create new verification guidelines for OFWs.

Some of the initiatives the DMW is taking for the recruitment agencies and employers include:

  • Establishing a “white list” of recruitment agencies and foreign recruitment agencies that have consistently followed rules on ethical recruitment and principles
  • Conducting a performance review and assessment based on their deployment numbers and capacity to monitor and respond to welfare cases of the licensed recruitment agencies and their foreign counterparts.
  • Issuance of country-specific employment contracts that would reflect current labor laws, migration policies, and if there is one, the contents of bilateral labor agreements with the destination country.
  • Required video presentation viewing that discusses OFW rights and welfare for all new employers before any document is signed.

The DMW also plans to impose strict guidelines that would only accommodate the qualified and fully-trained domestic workers for deployment.

Ople also underscored that they will be taking their cues from the United Nations (UN) Global Compact on Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration, which promotes cooperation with other nations, when it comes to pursuing bilateral countries.

“Even in countries where the sponsorship or ‘Kafala system’ is in place have signed this UN document, signifying their support to sound migration governance and humane treatment of migrant workers, including those in vulnerable occupations such as domestic work,” Ople said.

Meanwhile, the migrants secretary now also faces issues such as the trafficking of workers to second countries, where some OFWs in the United Arab Emirates to work in another country, warning migrant workers to keep an eye out for “bogus offers.”

“We also appeal to our kababayans to be more discerning about such bogus offers, and to report illegal recruiters and human traffickers to the DMW,” Ople said. — Kaycee Valmonte



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