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Pinoy Abroad

Jordan to include migrant workers in its labor laws

October 29, 2008 9:08pm
MANILA, Philippines - Some 25, 000 Filipino workers in Jordan will be assured of being paid their proper wages and would not be forced to work beyond eight hours should amendments to the Arab country’s labor law push through next year, a migrant workers’ lawyer said Wednesday.

Salah Jaber, a lawyer of the Ta’amneh law firm in Jordan, told GMANews.TV that the Jordanian government seeks to include migrant workers, particularly domestic helpers, in its labor law and secure their protection from various forms of exploitation and abuse.

Jaber said the amendment was in line with Jordan’s signing of several agreements on human and workers’ rights drafted by the United Nations and the International Labor Organization.

Once implemented, Filipino domestic workers will be entitled to a minimum wage pay of 150 Jordanian dinar, equivalent to P10,580. Aside from this, workers will be entitled to a maximum of eight hours per day working schedule and a day a week day off.

The Philippine government imposed a partial deployment ban of Filipino workers to Jordan last January after it received reports that cases of abuse and maltreatment of Filipino workers in Jordan were rising.

About 260 Filipino domestics sought refuge at the Philippine Embassy in Amman early this year, asking authorities to send them back home.

The Jordanian Times in an earlier report quoted Amjad Weshah, recruitment director of the Jordanian Labor Ministry, as saying that a delegation led by Jordan’s labor minister would go to Manila in October to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Philippine authorities.

The report said the memorandum, which was being drafted in coordination with the Philippine Embassy in Amman, would also give Jordan’s honorary consul in the Philippines a bigger role in supervising and monitoring the recruitment of Filipino workers for Jordan.

Weshah reportedly said that to both ensure the protection of Filipino domestic helpers and their employers, the MoU would set recruitment guidelines consistent with Jordanian laws.

Hadeel Abdel Aziz founding member of the Justice Center for Legal Aid, an organization providing free legal services to migrant workers in Jordan, feared that the amendments would not be fully implemented by the government.

Although the Jordanian government seems to be receptive to the pressure from the international media, Aziz said, it still has a lot to prove in terms of implementation.

“There’s still so much room for improvement," said Aziz. - Mark Joseph Ubalde, GMANews.TV
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