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New Law Urged for 8M OFWs
« on: December 11, 2007, 06:31:53 AM »
By MAYEN JAYMALIN
The Philippine Star

The local recruitment industry on Friday pressed for the enactment of a new law for the protection and welfare of the estimated eight million Filipino workers abroad.

The Philippine Association of Service Exporters, Inc (PASEI) called on Congress to come out with a new Magna Carta that would address the concerns of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

Victor Fernandez, PASEI president, said the existing Overseas Filipinos and Migrant Workers Act of 1995 otherwise known as Republic Act 8042 is more disadvantageous for OFWs.

"A new law governing only migrant workers should be introduced in Congress to address properly all concerns of Filipino migrant workers overseas," Fernandez said.

He added that a provision should also be incorporated to emphasize that Filipinos working abroad should be covered by the laws and traditions of the host countries and not by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) contract forged between the worker and the foreign employer.

"Philippine law should not prevail over the laws of the host country in case of contract dispute between employers and workers," Fernandez explained.

He cited the case of the Filipina nurses who left their jobs in the United States and are now on trial under American law, but the POEA insists that Philippine law should prevail in the dispute.

"Recruitment agencies have been penalized or licenses revoked because POEA insists that the employment contract should be followed in contract disputes despite the present laws and traditions of the host country," Fernandez pointed out.

"You cannot expect an American working in the Philippines to insist that US laws be applied to him in case of contract disputes, much like Filipinos working in the US (should not) ask for Philippine laws to cover them," added Fernandez.


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