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Sep
17
2014

PHL and HK Labor Officials talked about OFW Placement Fee Issue

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Placement fee issues and household workers’ complaints against their employers were raised by Philippine labor officials in a meeting held with the Hong Kong labor officials.

Their discussion focused on the need to cooperate with each other in addressing the concerns of Filipino household service workers in Hong Kong, particularly on placement fee issues and workers’ complaints against their employers,” Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz said.

The Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) Attaché Manuel Roldan and Consul General Bernardita Casalla met with Hong Kong Labour Department Commissioner Donald Tong, Deputy Commissioner Byron Ng, Assistant Commissioner Nicholas Chan and senior administrative officer Queenie Wong to discuss matters that concern OFWs in Hong Kong.

Labor Attaché Roldan reported that they’ve also explained the Philippine procedure of hiring Filipino workers, the ‘no-placement fee’ policy, the process of accrediting Hong Kong-based employment agencies with the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and their responsibilities to the workers hired.

Consul General Casalla informed them about the rampant practice of Hong Kong-based agencies of collecting placement fees from workers which is a violation of the Hong Kong laws, allowing only a service fee of 10 percent from the worker’s first month’s salary.

They also added that upon arrival of OFWs in Hong Kong, especially household service workers or HSWs, they are brought by the agency to a Hong Kong lending company for them to sign a loan document which they had to pay through monthly installment from five to seven months in different 7-eleven branches. OFWs are also told to open a bank account, but with the ATM card to be surrendered to the agencies. They can only get hold of their atm after the amount of service fee for the month has been deducted.

Roldan said to Hong Kong labor officials that these processes, together with other complaints by OFWs like illegal recruitment and abuse, often remain unreported.

Commissioner Tong encourages workers to report complaints against their employers to Hong Kong Labour Department. While complaints against their agencies are to be reported to the Employment Agency Administration. These will be used as basis to conduct inspection and investigation regarding the matter.

Casalla raised a problem regarding the availablity of OFWs to complain, because Sunday is their only free time, when the Labor Department is closed. She then suggested that the Philippine Consulate can accept complaints from OFWs and summarize it before forwarding it to the Hong Kong Labour Department. Tong welcomes the idea of case-referral ssytem and said it will be subject for further discussion.

Through the case-referral system, the availability of OFWs to seek redress for their grievances and of Hong Kong authorities to hear them will no longer be an isse,” said Baldoz.

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Sep
16
2014

Filipino Student stabbed by A schoolmate in Dubai

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photo from gulfnews.com

Roj Pascual – photo from gulfnews.com

 

An eight grade student of The Philippine School in Dubai was stabbed four times by his schoolmate whom he confronted after flashing finger on him.

Roj Pascual, 14-years old, was injured by his seventh grade schoolmate with what he said similar to a military or camping knife. He was wounded in the back, his left arm and left side.

Pascual’s family wonders how the knife was brought inside the school premises, stating that the day before the incident, their son and the suspect already had a conflict.

Jocelyn Sollano, the Philippine School principal said that ‘they can’t disclose anything because it’s under investigation by the police’. She also denied that the Philippine School has security problems, stating that the school had ‘all the security guards’ and ‘everyone is safe’.

Though the Philippine School was given a ‘good’ mark on their health and safety by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority or KHDA, they’ve noted that there was ‘a lack of promptness in teachers’ responses to misbehaviour which had a negative effect on learning’.
Related article:

New School for Filipino Students in UAE

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Sep
15
2014

Wage Increase to Benefit OFWs in South Korea

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korean won copy

 

A 7.1 percent minimum wage increase is hope to benefit more than 35, 000 Filipino workers in South Korea next year once it is approved by the Korean Minister of Employment and Labor.

This good news about the wage increase was informed by Seoul Labor Attaché Felicitas Bay to Philippine Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz, right after it was passed by Minimum Wage Council Chairman Park Jun-sung during the 7th plenary session.
Workers, including OFWs, under the Employment Permit System (EPS) will receive 5, 580 Korean won per hour or US$5.5 once it is applied starting January 1 until December 31, 2015.

EPS is the program selected by the Korean government to accept non-professional foreign workers in its small and medium industries under a transparent and efficient process of selecting, sending and receiving foreign workers through a government-to-government agreement.

According to Secretary Baldoz, the wage hike was decided based on the average wake hikes by collective bargaining agreements or CBAs and income distribution improvement rates, that indicates the wage level of workers belonging in a same category.

But not all can benefit from this wage increase. Those working in family business and living in the same residence, seafarers governed by the Seafarers Act, domestic workers, and those who do limited work because of physical or mental abilities are not covered by the salary changes, except if their exclusion is permitted by their Minister of Employment and Labor.

Seoul Labor Attaché Felicitas Bay added that the South Korea’s Minimum Wage Council will have to submit the wage proposal to the Minister of Employment and Labor for the purpose of public announcement and to be able to give the workers’ and employers’ representatives a 10-day adjustment period for any objections.

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Sep
12
2014

Pinay Nurse from Saudi tested negative for MERS-CoV

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Contrary to what was earlier reported by the Department of Health or DOH, the pinay nurse from Saudi Arabia is tested negative for the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV). This is after the result of test from Research Institute for Tropical Medicine or RITM came back.

The 37-year old Filipina nurse who arrived in the Philippines last August 28, worked at an intencive care unit of a provincial hospital in Saudi Arabia. She was checked up and swabbed after showing symptoms like fever, cough and colds before leaving Saudi. But she returned to the Philippines even before she got the result.

When the Pinay nurse was informed that she was positive for MERS-CoV, the Philippine health authorities did another examination for confirmation. She was discharged from the Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City where she was quarantined right away, after the RITM s examination came back negative.

 
Reated articles:

Pinay Nurse from Saudi Arabia positive for MERS-CoV

DOH Tells How to Avoid MERS-CoV

 

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Sep
11
2014

Job fair for repatriated OFWs to be held in Lingayen

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The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Region I will hold a job fair for repatriated OFWs this weekend at the Provincial Employment Service Office (PESO) in Pangasinan. This special job fair will be held on September 12-13, 2014.

job fair image thumbnail

Pangasinan Regional Director Grace Ursua reported to DOLE Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz of the planned job fair led by Pangasinan PESO Manager Alex Ferrer. Pangasinan PESO said they had invited local companies and overseas placement agencies that charges no placement fees to join the special job fair, which aims to ‘provide employment services to OFWs displaced due to crisis or emergency situations in Libya, Syria, Israel, Iraq and other countries’.

DOLE Secretary Baldoz hailed the DOLE Regional Office and PESO Pangasinan for taking the action to hold the job fair adding that it will be helpful for OFWs who are looking for other jobs whether locally or overseas after what they’ve been through.

 

For more overseas jobs, you can also visit www.workabroad.ph

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