According to a report released by Emirates 24/7, statistics show that many Filipino domestic helpers in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) are still getting salaries lower than the minimum wage.
The news quoted Joana, a Filipina domestic helper saying she knows she is entitled to a higher salary but chose to accept a lower offer because she had to gain experience.
Joana intends to go back to the Philippines as soon as her contract ends and then return to the UAE but would demand a proper salary or much higher.
According to Emirates 24/7, the minimum salary for Filipino domestic helpers in Dubai should be $400 (roughly Php 16,600).
Nevertheless, a lot of agencies are offering OFW domestic helper services for a mere Dh 900 (roughly P10,000) per month which is quite lower than expected.
This is actually far less from what has been officially set by the Consulates for OFW maids coming to work in the UAE.
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Philippine Embassy in the UAE stated that the rights of OFWs should be protected before and even after they get employed.
DOLE stated in a press release, “The obligation of a licensed recruitment agency to its hired OFWs does not end upon their deployment to the worksite.”
DOLE added, “The recruitment agency has the continuous obligation to ensure protection of workers, especially domestic workers.”
Reports says that agencies that are offering less than the minimum salary are located in Deira, Garhoud and Hor al Anz.
Such areas, the domestic helper’s salary reportedly range from Dh900 to Dh1100 (roughly P10,000 to P12,500).
For the meantime, the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) issued a warning to agencies who are violating the minimum wage.
An executive of one of these recruitment agencies stated, “We have Filipinas for Dh900 per month. The agency fee is Dh8,500 which includes the cost of a one-way ticket. The visa cost will be borne by you.”
There are roughly 636,154 Filipinos in the UAE and it conytinues to grow even if there are strict regulation now on tourist and working visas, based on the 2010 Stock Estimate of the Commission on Filipinos Overseas.