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Aquino directs DOLE to look into concerns of Filipino domestic helpers in Hong Kong

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President Benigno S. Aquino III has ordered Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz to look into the complaints of Filipino domestic helpers in Hong Kong that some employment agencies still charge placement fees for the deployment of household helpers abroad.

The President issued the directive during his teleconference with Marites Elvinia, a household helper in Hong Kong, at the Philippine Overseas Employment Authority as part of the 25th anniversary of the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution.

An existing policy against charging placement fees for the deployment of household workers abroad is absolute, and recruiters cannot charge before deployment and then for reimbursement later.

In December 2006, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration issued a new set of policies, which among others prohibited placement fees in the deployment of household helpers. The set of policies, which also raised the minimum monthly salary from US$ 200 to US$ 400, seeks to upgrade the status of Filipino domestic helpers being deployed worldwide.

The President asked all those who have paid such fees to report the incident to the POEA so that the erring recruitment agencies could be reprimanded.

According to POEA rules, agencies that collect placement fees from workers despite the ban would be penalized with cancellation of license and would be asked to refund the fee collected from the worker. (PNA)





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