Up to eight million overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) all over the world will benefit from the expanded OFW protection law that will take effect in August, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said.
“With the publication of the implementing rules and regulations, I now direct the agencies under DOLE that have OFW-related mandates to craft their own internal rules and regulations for the smooth implementation of the provisions of the law,” Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said in an article posted on the DOLE website.
DOLE said the implementing rules and regulations, published in newspapers Wednesday, will take effect after 15 days or on August 13.
Baldoz said the implementation of Republic Act 10022, or the expanded OFW protection law, “is a challenge” for DOLE at the forefront of protecting the OFWs .
Highlights of the new law are:
• Creating stronger bilateral and multilateral relations with the host countries for OFW protection;
• Provision of free skills training and livelihood programs for OFWs;
•Positive and concrete measures” of host countries to protect the rights of migrant workers;
• Prohibition of acts that may constitute illegal recruitment by both licensed and unlicensed agencies;
• Implementation of anti-illegal recruitment programs;
• Giving the responsibility for repatriation of stranded OFWs to the employer and licensed recruitment agency that sent them abroad;
• Establishment of the National Reintegration Center for OFWs;
• Protection from abusive medical clinics;
• Legal assistance fund for filing of cases against erring or abusive employers; and
• Compulsory provision of insurance to cover agency-hired workers for accidental death, natural death, permanent total disablement, repatriation costs, subsistence allowance benefit, money claims, compassionate visit, medical evaluation and repatriation.
Everyone welcomes any measures to protect OFW’s from abuse.
Like many western countries, the UK is cutting back on migrant workers from outside the EU, which means there will be less employers hiring overseas staff from a number of competing nations such as India.
It will be interesting to see how British employers react to the new regulations.
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