Written by October 5, 2010 press release prepared by the Department of Foreign Affairs
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said today that Republic Act (RA) 10022, or the Amended Migrant Workers’ Act is aimed to intensify protection for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) as they will be deployed in countries where the rights and welfare of migrant workers are protected.
Under this new law, the DFA, through the Philippine Embassies will make a survey of the countries under their jurisdiction if the rights of migrant workers are protected in those countries.
The criteria for this survey include the following: (1) if the receiving country has existing labor and social laws protecting the rights of migrant workers; (2) if the receiving country is a signatory to and/or ratifier of multilateral conventions, declarations or resolutions relating to the protection of migrant workers; (3) if the country has concluded a bilateral agreement or arrangement on the protection of the rights of overseas Filipino workers and; (4) the receiving country is taking positive and concrete measures to implement the first three criteria.
The certification will also indicate what types of workers, whether professional, semi-skilled, unskilled, or household service workers (HSWs) is protected in the receiving countries.
These certifications issued by the Philippine ambassadors outlining the receiving country’s fulfillment of the four criteria will be submitted to the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA). Taken in consideration with other information and other available data, the POEA Governing Board is then to decide if the receiving country can assure protection for OFWs.
Under the Implementing Rules and Regulations of RA 10022, Philippine Embassies are to submit the certification for countries where the Philippines maintains an embassy not later than November 11, while those without embassies on December 11.
Currently, the DFA has received certifications from 10 countries, namely: Cambodia, Timor-Leste, Kuwait, Laos, Myanmar, Ireland, Saipan, Norway, Syria and Vietnam. This will then be given to the POEA Governing Board.
The POEA Governing Board will then have to make a decision if Filipino workers should be deployed in the country, and what type of workers can be deployed in a given country.
The DFA believes that the certification of countries will allow prospective OFWs to make informed decisions whether they want to work in a given country. It will also allow them to take advantage of working in a country where their rights are more protected.
Department of Foreign Affairs
2330 Roxas Blvd., Pasay City, Philippines
Tel. No. 834-4000
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