‘Kasambahays’ in NCR to get P1,500 wage hike

Marje Pelayo   •   December 20, 2019   •   396

MANILA, Philippines – Domestic helpers across Metro Manila will receive an extra amount in their monthly salary after the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) formally granted a pay hike amounting to P1,500.

The said wage increase was based on the agency’s Wage Order No. NCR-DW-02 which states that new monthly minimum salary rate for domestic workers in the National Capital Region (NCR) would soon be P5,000.

Prior to the new order, household helpers in Metro Manila only receive P3,500 as provided for by Wage Order No. NCR-DW-01 effective December 2017

The order covers housemaids, nannies or ‘yaya,’ cooks, laundry persons and gardeners but it excludes family drivers, service providers and part timers.

The wage order, which was prompted by public consultations and discussions from employers and the workers, among others, will take effect 15 days after publication in a newspaper of general circulation.

6 suspected human trafficking victims intercepted at Iloilo airport

Robie de Guzman   •   December 11, 2019

Iloilo Airport

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Wednesday said it has intercepted six females who were said to have been illegally recruited to work as domestic helpers in Lebanon.

In a report reaching the office of Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente, the bureau’s travel control and enforcement unit said the women, who were suspected human trafficking victims, were stopped at the departure area of the Iloilo International Airport last December 1 while they were about to board their flight to Hong Kong.

The bureau said that from Hong Kong, the women were supposed to fly to Beirut where they will work as household service workers without appropriate overseas work permits.

In a statement, Ma. Timotea Barizo, overall supervisor of BI’s travel control and enforcement unit, said the immigration officers were able to foil the trafficking attempt after receiving a tip from a concerned citizen via the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking 1343 action line.

“Reports like these are really valuable to the council as they help us immediately identify the victims and conduct rescue operations,” Barizo said.

During investigation, the women allegedly admitted they were bound for Lebanon to work without the necessary documents.

They also pointed to a certain “Alfred” as the one who facilitated the processing of their travel documents and promised that their work visas would be handed to them upon their arrival in Beirut.

The six females, whose names were not revealed, were turned over to the IACAT in Region 6 for assistance and further investigation.

Gov’t won’t neglect Filipino families at risk of deportation in Israel – Malacañang

Maris Federez   •   August 12, 2019

Two Filipino women were arrested on July 23, 2019 along with their Israeli-born children during a crackdown by Israel authorities against foreign workers violating immigration laws.

Malacañang on Monday (August 12) has given its assurance that the Duterte administration will not forsake the hundreds of Filipino families in Israel who are at risk of getting deported.

“I’m sure the Secretary of Foreign Affairs will do something about it. We won’t neglect that,” said presidential spokesperson and chief presidential legal counsel, Sec. Salvador Panelo.

Based on reports, around 600 families may face expulsion for not having residency status.

In particular are caregivers and domestic helpers who have been working in Israel for a long time and who had gotten married and have children in the middle eastern country.

Although born in Israel, these children do not have legal status in the country and their parents cannot renew their working visas without risking expulsion. (with details from Rosalie Coz) /mbmf

PH, Russia in talks over labor agreement

Marje Pelayo   •   June 12, 2019

(L-R) Philippine and Russian flags

MOSCOW, Russia – The Philippines and Russia are now in talks about labor relations as there is no existing agreement yet between the two countries particularly regarding the welfare of Filipino domestic helpers.

The government sent House Speaker Gloria Arroyo to Russia last week to talk to Russian labor officials on the matter.

“Dapat maawa naman ang mga official sa mga nangyayari, so kinuwento ko naman doon sa forum na sampung libo sila pero halos dalawang daan lang ang quota,” the House Speaker explained.

(Officials should at least show compassion and so I told them the situation. There are about 10,000 [OFWs] but the quota is only 200.)

“Halos sila ay nagpupunta dito na ang visa nila ay hindi tunay. Hindi totoo o kaya kunwari estudyante o kaya kunwari negosyante kaya naman parating natatakot na baka isang araw mahuli, mapaalis,” he added.

(Almost all of them entered the country without a proper visa. They only have a student or business visa, causing them to live in constant fear of being arrested and deported.)

Arroyo said the Philippine government is pushing for an agreement that would assure protection for overseas Filipino workers (OFW) in the European nation.

For ten years now, “Yeye” has been working as a foreign domestic worker in Russia.

Even after a decade of working, her status remains uncertain as she is working in Russia undocumented.

“Sa ngayon napaka hirap talaga sa dami na ng pinagdaanan ko dito lalo na sa ibat-ibang Agency na pinapasukan ng aming mga visa talagang napaka hirap na lagi kaming may kabog sa dibdib,” she said.

(Honestly, we’re in a very difficult situation. After all the hardships that I went through, my experiences with various agencies where we lodge our visas, the fear is always there.)

While the labor agreement in on the negotiating table, Ambassador Carlos Sorreta constantly calls on Filipino workers in Russia to refrain from inviting their relatives and friends to come and work in Russia.

“Ang pinakahiling lang namin (ay) itigil ang pagre-recruit muna lalo na ang mga kaibigan ninyo, kamag anak, mga kababayan. Ang nangyayari (kasi) nababayaran pagdating dito nagkakaaway-away,” the Philippine envoy to Russia said.

(We appeal [to our kababayans] to refrain from recruiting your friends, your relatives because what happens, is after the payment is settled, the conflict would arise when they arrive here in Russia.)

“Hindi namin makukuha ang labor agreement kung dumadami ng dumadami ang ilegal kasi pumasok ang issue ng amnesty so mas nagiging komplikado,” he added.

(We will not succeed in getting a labor agreement if the number of illegal entries will increase given that there is already an amnesty program. Things would surely become more complicated.) – with reports from Catherine Martinez / UNTV News Russia

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