Is this worth a monthly pay of US $200?

Click below for video link
Raped in Saudi Arabia

The Saudi government has suspended the hiring of Filipino and Indonesian household workers. This came as no surprise to the Department of Labor and Employment since talks have bogged down on the prescribed minimum salary for our domestic helpers.

The Saudi side wanted us to lower the minimum wage from US$400 to US$200 a month. They also objected to the current practice of our labor attaches of requesting employers to submit a map showing their place of residence. This requirement is due to the number of maltreated OFWs whose locations could not be traced because most Arab employers merely indicate a P.O. Box number rather than a complete address on their contracts.

The refusal of the Philippine government to lower its prescribed minimum wage for Filipino maids overseas triggered the Saudi ban. Some stakeholders including legislators have called on the DFA to spearhead talks with the Saudi government about this. Initiating talks would be useless unless the DFA or the President himself asks DoLE to back down from its position. It is vital that our leaders speak with one voice on this issue.

Will the Philippines seek a reconsideration of this ban? I hope not. Because it is high time that we bite the bullet on this issue and just ask the question — Are all these cases of abuse, maltreatment, and rapes worth a monthly salary of US$200? No doubt that the economic implications of this ban on households across our archipelago and on the steady stream of remittance inflows shall be huge.

Pero kung hindi tayo maninindigan ngayon, kailan pa?

Author: Susan Ople

Susan "Toots" Ople is the President of the Blas F. Ople Policy and Training Institute. She's an OFW and labor advocate based in the Philippines.

Share This Post On
  • george

    how much is $200 in pesos? less than P10k in exchange of being abused, treated like slave and — if lucky enough — to return home black and blue, some in wheelchair or stretcher with incoherent mind. our kababayans left with a dream and returned home with unforgettable nightmares. kailangan pa ba nating magmakaawa upang makapagtrabaho at gawing alipin tulad ng isang hayup sa Saudi?