By Samuel P. Medenilla, Businessmirror, Feb 26, 2018
The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) said directly hired Filipino household service workers (HSW) are still banned from being deployed to Malaysia despite a new regulation of the Malaysian government relaxing its recruitment policy for migrant HSWs.
The agency issued the clarification after the Malaysian government earlier announced it will now allow employers to hire HSWs from nine countries, including Philippines, without going through recruitment agencies.
In an advisory, POEA Administrator Bernard P. Olalia said the direct recruitment for Filipino HSWs and other overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) abroad is still generally considered illegal under their existing regulations except for certain cases.
“Direct hiring of domestic workers bound for Malaysia shall not be allowed except for employers who are members of the diplomatic corps, international organization and heads of states and government officials with the rank of at least deputy minister,” Olalia said in POEA Advisory 10.
The POEA requires aspiring OFWs to go through licenses recruitment agencies in seeking employment abroad to ensure their protection.
In an event OFWs are abused by their employers, their recruitment agencies could be easily held accountable by the POEA through its regulatory powers.
The POEA reminded aspiring Filipino HSWs, who would attempt to avail themselves of Malaysia’s relaxed policy for direct hires by leaving the country as tourists, would still have time securing work.
“The Philippine Overseas Labor Offices [Polo] in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia shall not issue the overseas employment certificate [OEC] to Filipinos who have exited the Philippines as tourists and now working in Malaysia,” Olalia said.
An OEC is a mandatory document issued by the POEA or the Polos to OFWs before they could work abroad.
To avoid such complications, Olalia said applicants seeking employment in Malaysia go through the legal process of having their employment contract processed by the POEA.
According to the POEA, Malaysia remains one of the top 10 destinations for Filipino HSWs. In 2016 over 7,500 newly hired HSWs were deployed there.