Manila agencies stop hiring Pinay Maids for Kuwait

Manila recruitment agencies stop hiring Filipino domestic helpers – Disagreements over salary

KUWAIT: Some recruitment agencies from Manila have reportedly stopped processing visa for domestic helpers (article 20) amidst disagreements between the Philippines and Kuwait regarding housemaids' salary.

The Philippine government wants to strictly implement its unilateral policy of $400 (KD112.56) monthly salary while the Kuwaiti government asked it to wait till a new domestic labor law pending for two years before the Kuwaiti parliament is approved. Authorities in Kuwait have also informed housemaids' agencies in Kuwait to avoid promising an increase in salaries or recruitment fees of domestic workers unless they receive an order from the Ministry of Interior.

Recruitment offices around the country received a statement from the domestic workers' division in the [Interior Ministry's] Migration General Department, asking them to ignore instructions received from any party other than official state departments regarding the fees for recruiting labor forces or their salaries.

The Philippines government has implemented its unilateral $400 monthly salary for their domestic helpers since 2009 although Kuwait has approved KD60 ($213.23) only and upgraded the amount to KD70 ($248.77) just recently. "As legitimate recruitment agencies, we are caught in the middle of disagreements between two governments and are suffering," disclosed an owner of the Philippine recruitment agency who wanted to remain anonymous. "Since Dec 1, 2012, we stopped processing DH visa.

We want the $400 to be implemented but Kuwait is not ready to implement the amount," the female recruitment agency owner told the Kuwait Times. "When we, employers and domestic helpers encounter any problem, we are there to respond quickly. We mediate and fix their problems. If the employer violates Philippine government's regulations, we handle it ourselves and sometimes we also suffer fines. We can also get suspended if the problem with the employers is not resolved.

The money we earn from recruitment job is just enough to pay penalties and cost for domestic helpers' repatriation. Our demand is clear: we want the two governments to settle their differences in this regard because we are caught in the middle of disagreements. We have been stuck in this impasse since two years and there has been no resolution as yet," she said.

She noted the fact that recruitment for domestic helpers was being stopped not just in case of Kuwait but for the rest of GCC countries also. "Our action is not influenced by any government. We are suffering. Our business is suffering, and we need to take action. This is not just a question of one agency but many agencies from Manila are impacted and we have agreed to stop processing visa for domestic helpers unless there is a clear resolution of this issue or if there are employers willing to pay the Manila demand for $400," she said. The fee for hiring domestic helpers in Kuwait ranges between KD500 and KD800, amount that many consider 'outrageous and ridiculous'. (http://is.gd/87yBFp)

Kuwait Times 

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