Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Gulf states threaten to ban Filipino workers

05/31/2007 | 10:08 PM

The Gulf states -- Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman – may no longer accept Filipino workers unless the Philippine government take steps to clarify its policy imposing $13 daily penalty on foreign employers who would not pay their workers on time and at a minimum of $400 a month.

The Committee for Importing Foreign Workers of the Gulf Cooperation Council(GCC) unanimously agreed in a meeting on Thursday to stop importing Filipinos until Philippine labor laws are clarified, Dylan Bowman of Kuwait New Agency reported.

GCC, also known as the Cooperation Council of the Arab States in the Gulf, is a trade bloc involving six Arab Gulf states with many economic and social objectives, including the formulation of similar regulations in various fields such as economy, finance, trade, customs, tourism, legislation, and administration.

The report acknowledged that the Philippine government raised the minimum salary of its workers overseas was intended to improve the standard of living of its citizens.

“Participants agreed to submit this recommendation [to stop importing Filipinos] to the decision-makers in the GCC and expressed hope that this recommendation would be implemented as soon as possible," Abdel-Aziz Al-Ali, head of Kuwait's domestic labor offices, told the Kuwait News Agency.

“We understand the important international implications of this issue and we are dealing with it accordingly," Al-Ali said.

Based on POEA data, the six GCC member-states employ 435, 190 Filipinos as of December-2006, and this is broken down into: Saudi Arabia – 223, 459; UAE – 99, 212; Kuwait – 47, 917; Qatar – 45, 795; Bahrain – 11, 736; and Oman – 7, 071.
Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, and Qatar are among the top 10 popular destinations of OFWs.

The new regulations issued by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) partially took effect on December 15, 2006, was fully implemented beginning March 1, 2007 pegged the minimum salary for Filipino domestic workers, including stay-in care givers, at $400, up from $200.

Foreign employers are also required to sign a declaration stipulating they would pay a fine of around $13 a day if they do not pay their Filipino workers on time, and at the prescribed rate spelled out in the labor contract.

The minimum salary regulations are not binding on any of the GCC’s six member states, but if employers do not agree to them then the Filipino government will not process their staff’s contracts, Kuwait News Agency said.

Asaad Derbas, head of the Kuwaiti delegation to the meeting of the GCC Committee, said the decision to stop importing Filipinos was taken because the Philippine government “used the issue as a political tool in its recent general election."

He said the issue had a negative impact on the countries importing Filipino workers. - GMANews.TV


iza roberto iza said...


d_hisoler said...

I wish and I hope that you will give chance to the filipino citizens, and hope for motions of reconsidering Philippine government decissions of the said policies, because mostly the one who work as an housemaid all over the world not only in gulf countries are the less fortunate filipinos who suffer from poverty, they wont let themselves be away from their family for the price of receiving a salary which is not enough to feed their family, This is the fact that the filipino suffer from the poverty because of so many reasons and we are trying to live for survival, And Alhamdullilah we can consider that GCC countries was been blessed so much, We offered and render our faithfullness and dedication to our work,
I hope that God will Blessed More Power and Blessings to the GCC countries for they are giving us chance to live and provide food not only to the overseas filipino workers but to our family in the Philippines. I hope that you will look upon our poverty and as a contribution for our survival you will reconsider our humble request.Thank you very much for welcoming filipinos in your country sir. Eid Mubarak !!!