MANILA — Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz has lauded the Philippine Embassy and the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Brunei Darussalam for orchestrating effort to ensure that Flipino domestic workers in that country receive appropriate protection, including proper wages of not less than USD400 a month as specified under the DOLE’s household service workers reform package.
“I am happy that our POLO, in coordination with the Philippine Embassy in Brunei, has moved fast to carry out our directive to our labor attaches to make it very forcefully known that vulnerable workers, such as domestic workers, must not receive less than USD400 in monthly salaries, in addition to there welfare and protection measures,” Baldoz said after Labor Attache to Brunei Violeta D. Illescas reported that Philippine Ambassador Nestor Z. Ochoa has already taken a concrete step by informing the commissioner of the Brueni Labor Department about the HSW reform package.
In her report, Labatt Illescas said Ambassador Ochoa had written HJ. Rani Bin BPSK DSS Haji Mohd Yusuf to convey Secretary Baldoz’s directives issued in December 2014, among which are the rationalization of the deployment of domestic workers and workers in the vulnerable categories, such as unskilled farm and poultry workers, and semi-skilled workers, such as waitresses, sewers, sales assistants, cashiers, janitresses, and transport drivers; and focusing the deployment of workers in high-end job categories, including professionals and other skilled workers.
“The salary of the household service worker and the other vulnerable occupations should not be lower than the USD400 per month, or the equivalent on foreign currency rate at the post,” said Ambassador Ochoa in his letter.
In Brunei, the equivalent of the USD 400 is BND (Brunei Dinar) 520 at an exchange rate of USD 1 is to BND1.3.
In his letter, Ambassador Ochoa also requested Commissioner Yusuf to include the salary of BND 520 per month, or USD 400, relative to the issuance of Borang Pesanan Kerja for Amah, and BND for unskilled and semi-skilled workers.
Ochoa also informed the labor commissioner that Baldoz has also a standing directive to prioritize the resolution of cases and to implement a rationalised approach in contract processing and verification; and to give preference to requests of agencies and employers with proven track record of compliance with Philippine overseas employment rules and regulations and established ethical recruitment standards.
“In addressing the violations of recruitment rules, the POLO shall submit appropriate documents to the POEA Administrator for determination and furtherance of disciplinary actions against erring persons and agencies,” Ochoa wrote.
Baldoz has instructed Labor Attache Illescas to monitor compliance of Philippine licensed recruitment agencies and foreign principals/employers to her directives, saying the POLO should already submit a list of foreign principals and employers who can be given incentives for adhering to ethical recruitment practices.