PASEI’S PROPOSALS TO THE 2nd MEDIUM TERM COMPREHENSIVE EMPLOYMENT PLAN
2012 – 2016
GOAL: To help the National Government in its efforts to provide gainful employment for our citizens through the creation of Two (2) Million overseas jobs for qualified Filipinos desiring to work abroad.
* Amend Certain Provisions of R.A. 8042 The Migrant and Overseas Filipino Act of 1995 as amended by R.A. 10022.
- Sec. 2 (c). Promote aggressively overseas employment.
- Sec. 2 (e). Give OCWs well-defined responsibilities and obligations.
- Sec. 2 (h). Recognize the positive contributions of the Overseas Employment Service Providers (OESPs).
- Sec. 2 (i) Provide concrete incentives to OESPs.
- Sec. 6. Differentiate the licensees from the non-licensees by redefining illegal recruitment under Sec. 6 of R.A.8042 to refer to illegal acts committed by non-licensees only.
- Revisit the Compulsory OCW Insurance Provisions in R.A.10022.
* Enhance Protective Mechanisms of OCWs:
- Make training and assessment of vulnerable sectors (Domestics and Households Workers) SERIOUS and mandatory.
- POEA/DOLE must support and encourage the private sector to intensify its association to association relationships, responsibilities and agreements with its foreign counterparts to ensure workers protection and welfare are secured.
- Accredit immediately the foreign manpower intermediaries with joint liability and shared responsibilities to make them responsible for our workers recruited through them.
- Create a “Legal Assistance for Claims against Employers (LACE)” Fund for OCWs aside from and in addition to the existing P100 Million Legal Assistance Fund provided for under Sec. 25 of R.A. 8042 now Sec. 18 of R.A. 10022.
The LACE-Fund will be sourced from the premiums of the Compulsory Insurance Coverage for Agency-Hired Workers which the private licensed recruitment agencies and/or their foreign employers/principals are paying as mandated under Section 37-A (Compulsory Insurance Coverage for Agency-Hired Workers) of R.A. No. 10022.
The LACE-Fund should NOT be used for the DEFENSE of our OCWs for crimes committed (criminal in nature) BUT INSTEAD ON labor related cases.
- Train more translators and assign them where there is a concentration of Filipino OCWs to handle conciliation cases on-site.
- Retain on-site Local Labor Law Offices/Advocates.
- Increase the number of Labor Attaches and Welfare Officers/Centers.
- Implement OWWA Membership Automatic Renewal Loan (OMAR-Loan) where the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) will automatically advance, as a loan, payment of the US$25.00 membership renewal fee to the fund for OCWs who renewed their employment contracts without returning to the Philippines for vacation and failed/overlooked to renew their OWWA membership on-site to ensure OCWs of uninterrupted valid OWWA membership coverage; thus, the OCWs will continue to enjoy and avail the same entitlements, benefits and protection given to OWWA members in good standing.
- Mandatory enrollment of OCWs to the Employees Compensation Commission (ECC) Program.
* Intensify the Anti-Illegal Recruitment Campaign:
- Mandatory and FULL nationwide immediate implementation of the Pre-Employment Orientation Seminar (PEOS) to be conducted by Government through the Public Employment Service Office (PESO) and qualified NGOs.
- Make attendance to PEOS a mandatory requirement to applicants wanting to work overseas.
* Maintain the status quo of Employer’s Documents Verification by the POLOs and the Accreditation & Registration done by the POEA:
- Retain the present set-up whereby POLO simply perform “Verification” of recruitment/accreditation documents of the foreign principal or employer, including the employment contracts of Filipino nationals while the POEA continues to review and accredit/register the Principal/Employer.
- Deregulate its recruitment activities as previously mandated by Sec. 29 of R.A. 8042 and concentrate on organizing marketing missions for the industry, do market researches and join bilateral labor negotiations with the DFA/OUMWA with the participation of the private sector.
- Expand/re-train its staff and work for a bigger operating budget once POEA deregulates.
- NOT COMPETE with the legitimate Overseas Employment Providers for overseas jobs/recruitment.
- Phase out its regulatory functions as previously mandated by Sec. 30 of R.A. 8042 and allow the industry to self-regulate once the law has been rationalized.
- Implement the Full Disclosure Policy.
- Expand its labor market research capability.
- Authorize License Recruitment Agencies to collect a fixed amount of at least Php7,500.00 for the Processing and Documentation Fee (PDF) from OCWs aside from the allowable placement fee.
* Wage Deregulation:
Deregulate the Salary Benchmarking of the OCWs.
- Basic salary offered by foreign employers must be approved by POLO and by POEA IF the salary offer is:
- Not lower than the prescribed minimum wage in the host country; OR
- Not lower than the appropriate minimum wage standard set forth in a bilateral agreement or international agreement duly agreed by the host country and the Philippines OR
- Not lower than the NCR minimum wage in the Philippines.
* Settling Disputes:
- Rationalize the mode of settling disputes in the NLRC and take into consideration the Labor and Social Laws of the host countries:
- Encourage stakeholders to submit all labor-related disputes to Mediation or Conciliation or Voluntary Arbitration or through other modes of available Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) to expedite resolution of complaints.
- Prepare a separate “Book on Overseas Employment” taking into account “Conflict of Laws” and the social laws of the host country.
* Accelerate National Economic Recovery by:
- Taxing overseas income not remitted through the normal banking channels or official registered remittance companies or encourage OCWs to pay a fix-income tax based on their salary bracket.
- Campaigning, in partnership with the NGOs, for the reduction of remittance or pay-out fees being charged by banks and other remittance service providers.
- Organizing entrepreneurial seminars and trainings for spouses left behind by the OCWs.
- Opening lending facilities for those wanting to go abroad and for those wanting to put up businesses.
* Investment for OCWs:
The government must create investment opportunities for OCWs in government-led infrastructure projects such as investing in the financing of Philippine International Airports through loans extended by Government Financial Institutions (GFIs) and/or Banks to OCWs.
* PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP
Continuing Agency Education Program (CAEP):
- To professionalize the landbased recruitment industry, POEA in tandem with Industry Associations must require Licensed Recruitment Agencies to send 25% of their total personnel complement to complete CAEP annually in order to achieve 100% completion of attendance of all its employees prior to the agencies’ license renewal in order to professionalize the Overseas Employment Industry in line with ethical conduct and best recruitment practices.
- In partnership with the associations of Overseas Employment Service Providers, POEA must:
- Conduct more jobs fairs in the provinces.
- Concentrate on the Pre-Employment Orientation Seminars (PEOS) in tandem with the NGOs and the Public Employment Service Office (PESO).
- Allow the trainors/speakers of the Overseas Employment Service Providers to be occasional invited speakers in these PEOS as partners as a pre-requisite to renewing their accreditation as PDOS Speakers/Trainors.
- DFA/POEA/DOLE, must work for Bilateral Labor Agreements (BLAs) with host countries of our OCWs with the participation of the private sector.
- Partnering with the private sector and lead government agencies in the planning and implementation of realistic re-integration programs.
* HSWs Language and Culture Orientation:
- OWWA should authorize industry associations in the landbased recruitment industry to conduct portion of the Comprehensive Pre-Departure Education Program (CPDEP) provided that the authorized associations shall not charge or collect training/seminar fee of whatever amount from the attendees.