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Bacolod City, PhilippinesThursday, September 27, 2012
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Recruiters told: Protect OFWs

Department of Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz yesterday reminded anew recruitment agency owners who lose sight of their duty to protect domestic workers deployed overseas, a press release from DOLE said.

The obligation of a licensed recruitment agency to its hired OFWs does not end upon their deployment to the worksite. The recruitment agency has the continuous obligation to ensure protection of workers, especially domestic workers, Baldoz said.

The governing board of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration has required the highest degree of protection for our overseas household service workers, owing to the vulnerable nature of their employment, Baldoz also said.

She added that they will hold recruiters accountable to the POEA to ensure that foreign employers faithfully comply with their legal and contractual obligations to domestic workers.

Baldoz is the chairperson of the POEA governing board, the press release said.

POEA administrator Hans Leo Cacdac, the governing board vice chairperson, echoed the warning of Baldoz.

He said such legal and contractual obligations include humane treatment, payment of salaries and benefits, and notification of the Philippine embassy about any significant development affecting the condition of domestic workers.

The recruitment agency must also assist in the settlement of disputes and report to the POEA any significant or important situation experienced by a deployed domestic worker, the press release said.

Cacdac noted that over the last five years, an increasing number of overseas domestic workers have filed cases against their recruitment agencies and employers before the POEA and that many of these cases involved the death or physical abuse of female domestic workers.*

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