By: Mohammed Al Badi
MUSCAT: The Embassy of the Philippines here has said that as of March 1, “the office is strictly implementing the POEA Rules and Regulations on the $400 or RO 160 minimum salary for household service workers.” In a notice issued yesterday, the embassy emphasised that the parties concerned would have to sign a certification stating the minimum salary and no employment contracts would be processed otherwise.
Though the RO 160 minimum salary has been in place since 2011, Filipinos complained that they received wages less than of that penned in the contract.
“We have received complaints here at the embassy as well from homeland that workers are being paid RO 80, 90 or 120 which is less than what has been agreed in the contract,” said Nasser Mustafa, Labour Attaché at the embassy.
The office will now fully oversee the implementation of the contract. “There was leniency in the implementation of the decision earlier,” he added.
Not following the minimum salary rule will lead to disqualifying the recruitment office from employing Filipinos. “Investigation will be held and partner office in the Philippines will also be penalised if proved that it has acted in contrary to the POEA’s regulations,” the official said.
Mustafa explained that the announcement was a step in regulating the affairs of the workers, adding that the embassy held a meeting with manpower agencies two days ago to highlight the necessity to follow the contract signed with the worker pertaining to minimum salary.
“The recruiters requested the embassy to make it public and issue an official notification to relay to the public.”
“The $400 minimum wage is paid to the Filipinos worldwide. The Government of Philippines stopped employment of its citizens in some countries until an understanding regarding the affairs and conditions of the workers has been reached,” the official elaborated.
The announcement of the embassy has come in the wake of a series of steps taken by foreign embassies in the Sultanate to regulate the affairs of their nationals in cooperation with the government of the Sultanate.
SOURCE: OMAN DAILY OBSERVER