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No hiring freeze for Filipinos in UAE

The government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) recently gave assurances that there is no freeze in hiring of skilled overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) despite the prevailing global economic crunch.

UAE Labor Minister Saqr Ghobash said their country has not been seriously affected by the economic meltdown and they are still in need of OFWs and other migrant workers. He noted that the crisis has two different effects on countries worldwide—financial problems and sowing fear among the people.

“With us in UAE, I don’t think there is much effect on financial, maybe we are affected only by the phobia side,” Ghobash disclosed.

Ghobash further gave assurances of better employment conditions, including equal pay and welfare protection for highly skilled Filipinos who will opt to work in their country.

He noted that the UAE and the Philippines have agreed to implement in the next two years a pilot project dubbed “Temporary Contractual Employment Cycle.” He said the UAE government took the initiatives to start the pilot project with the Philippines so that better employment practices can be administered and institutionalized.

“This pilot project will help our country in drafting new laws that will give better protection for migrant workers, particularly domestic helpers,” Ghobash said.

Labor Secretary Marianito Roque said that under the project, UAE will get involved in the monitoring of recruitment, employment and even the eventual return of OFWs of an initial batch of 3,000 from the Philippines and India.

“Under this project our governments and the UAE will share responsibility in ensuring better working conditions for Filipinos. This will be a showcase of our best practices,” he noted.

“This project will take into account all phases in the employment cycle from recruitment, pre-deployment, temporary contractual employment and residency, their preparation to their country of origin and their reintegration,” Roque added.

Roque said the program is also expected to curb the high number of illegally deployed Filipino workers in UAE.

“This will prevent illegal entry of OFWs, but we still expect an increase in the number of those who are legally deployed.”

Ghobash and Roque reported that other countries in the Middle East and the European Union have expressed their intention to adopt a similar project once it is proven successful.  

Source: http://beta.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=411630