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Bishops back ban on Filipino maids
Saudi's decision is a blessing in disguise and will prevent abuse problems, they sayA government official talks to repatriated overseas domestic workers who escaped from their employers
- Lourdes Abelardo and ucanews.com staff, Manila
- July 4, 2011
Father Edwin Corros, executive secretary of the CBCPâ€™s Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People, said the ban â€“ although not desired by the Aquino administration â€“ would prevent the recurring problem of abuse against Filipino maids by foreign employers.
â€śItâ€™s better that we stop deploying household service workers (HSWs) to Saudi Arabia to avoid exploitation like what we often read in the papers,â€ť he said.
Saudi Arabia said last week it would block their hiring from the Philippines and Indonesia, citing strict requirements and unfair regulatory provisions, according to Arab News.
New contracts made by the Philippines require foreign employers of Filipino domestic helpers to pay a minimum wage of US$400 a month as well as urging employers to provide family information and the layout of the residence where the domestic helper will be working.
The move will affect some 180,000 domestic workers, such as maids and drivers, or about 15 percent of the 1.2 million Filipinos now in Saudi Arabia.
Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz, however, downplayed the Saudi decision, saying the government can turn to Australia and Canada, which are experiencing a â€ślabor shortage.â€ť
The Philippine labor attachĂ©s in those countries, she said, are currently in talks with officials there to â€śmatch the labor demand with labor supply."
Some sectors in the Philippine have been asking for a ban on domestic workers to the Middle East, saying the problems caused by their deployment far outweigh the benefits gained by the government and the migrant workers.