The government of United Arab Emirates (UAE) will offer low-cost loans to Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their families through their Emirates’ Wage Protection Scheme. This is the good news that was shared by Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz, Secretary of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) during the 100th International Labor Organization conference where she had a meeting with UAE Minister of Labor, H.E. Sarq Ghobash. The meeting also included H.E. Ivan Garcia, Philippine Permanent Representative to the UN Mission in Geneva, and Labor Attache Manuel G. Imson.

She said, “Minister Ghobash assured me the UAE will issue low-cost family loans to our OFWs before their departure from the Philippines. The amount of the loan will be equivalent to a two-month salary and will be implemented jointly with Philippine banks, with the loan payment to be guaranteed by the UAE government under its Wage Protection Scheme. This program allows automatic deduction by the UAE government of the loan payments.”

However Baldoz added that the Philippines and the UAE still needs to discuss the technical aspect of this project.
The DOLE Secretary said that the Labor Minister of UAE informed her during their meeting that the UAE government is exerting more effort to protect the welfare of migrant workers and that includes oFWs. One of the project that is part of this initiative is the implementation of the contract validation program. This is an electronic system that registers and records the employment contracts of migrant workers. This system that will be the basis of visa processing will be made to the Philippines.

Baldoz infomed, “This system, which the UAE projects to start in July this year, will eliminate contract substitution and allow both workers and employers to refer to just one contract.” 

The Labor Minister of UAE also informed Baldoz that they are set to hold the Second Ministerial Meeting of the Abu Dhabi Dialogue with the IOM in early 2012. 

She said, “Minister Ghobash and I agreed to convene a working level meeting in Geneva this week with the representatives from the Philippines, UAE, India, Bangladesh, the IOM, and the GCC to discuss the preparations for the ministerial meeting, which the UAE has offered the Philippines to host,.”

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