The POEA Governing Board
recently approved a series of resolutions defining policy
reforms that seek to improve the lot of household workers. The
new policies which took effect December 16, 2006, include
upgrading of skills of the workers, orientation course on
country-specific culture and language, protective mechanisms at
the job sites, obliging employers to shoulder the cost of
deploying the domestic helper, and increasing the minimum salary
to a level commensurate to their acquired competencies.
In upgrading the capabilities
of the worker, all applicants for domestic helper shall undergo
skills assessment by the Technical Education and Skills
Development Authority (TESDA). TESDA-certified workers will be
issued Certificate of Competency. Domestic helpers with years
of experience as household workers abroad can directly go through TESDA skills assessment system.
The worker will also undergo a
country-specific language and culture training to be sponsored
by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) free of
charge to the worker.
The POEA Governing Board also
approved the minimum wage of US$400, doubling the prevailing
wage rate of US$200 especially in the Middle East countries.
The Philippine Overseas
Employment Administration shall not process contracts of
employment of domestic helpers without the TESDA-issued COC and
the OWWA-issued certificate of completion of the orientation of
country-specific language and culture.
The "no-placement-fee" policy
for host countries where laws and regulation requires the
employer to pay the cost of hiring will be strictly applied to
recruitment and placement of domestic helpers. Any violation by
the recruitment agency will result to the cancellation of
license. With highly trained household workers, recruiters in
the Philippines can demand higher service fees from employers,
which include the placement fee that is usually asked from the
Also under the new policy, the
Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLO) will be strict in their
pre-qualification system to determine the employer’s fitness to
hire domestic workers, including personal interview of the
employer. The POLO and the POEA shall blacklist employers who
have committed cases of abuse and maltreatment against Filipino
workers and cases of contractual breaches especially non-payment
or underpayment of salaries.