Baldoz assures protection of Filipino au pairs PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 09 November 2010 14:14

Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz on Sunday assured the public and concerned migrant workers’ advocacy groups of the government’s utmost efforts to ensure the protection of all overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), including au pairs, in line with the 22-point labor and employment agenda of President Benigno S. Aquino III.

Baldoz gave the assurance following the lifting by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) of the ban on the deployment of OFWs under the “au pair” system to Switzerland, Norway, and Denmark.

“Au pair” is a French term which means “on par” or “equal to”. For OFWs under the system, it “denotes living on an equal basis in a reciprocal, caring relationship with families that host these “au pairs”.

The labor and employment chief said that under the President’s agenda, 11 items of which pertains to the protection of OFWs and the promotion of their welfare, the DOLE is implementing several reform measures that guarantee OFW protection.

She said one of these included her instruction to the POEA, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLOs), and International Labor Affairs Bureau (ILAB) to intensify their coordination efforts to protect and reach out to all OFWs, particularly those in distressed situations.

She also cited RA 10022, the amendatory law to RA 8042, which emphasizes stronger bilateral and multi-lateral relations with receiving countries for better OFW protection.

“This law requires the DFA to assess all labor markets in terms of protection to migrant workers in their national laws, bilateral agreements, ratified international conventions, and 'positive concrete measures' to protect the rights of OFWs,” Baldoz said.

Baldoz said OWWA had set aside P100 million for a legal assistance fund from which legal services fees for OFWs on site can be drawn. On top of this, the new law now requires a mandatory insurance for OFWs, in addition to the life insurance benefits provided by the OWWA for its members.

“There are many other reform measures that we are now implementing for the protection of OFWs, including our 24/7 case monitoring system that enables us to