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Sunday, April 21, 2024

Pimentel cites UAE as more ‘OFW-friendly’

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SENATE minority leader Aquilino Pimentel III said there was a notable decrease this year in the number of runaway maids, including domestic helpers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

However, he provided no further details.. 

Pimentel attributed this positive development to the significant strides in enhancing the labor conditions of foreign workers in the UAE under the leadership of President Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Na.

“It is encouraging to witness such positive developments, indicating tangible progress in the welfare of foreign workers in the UAE,” Pimentel said.

“The efforts undertaken by the UAE government, alongside the close cooperation with our very hardworking labor attachés, demonstrate a commitment to ensuring the protection and rights of all workers,” he added.

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Pimentel also welcomed a recent directive issued by the UAE government, which mandates the inclusion of all private sector employees and domestic workers in the compulsory health insurance scheme.

Effective 2025, employers will be obligated to provide health coverage for their registered workers upon issuance or renewal of residency permits. 

The senator noted this action demonstrates a proactive stance toward enhancing the welfare of workers and emphasizes the UAE’s dedication to fair employment standards. 

Based on data, Pimentel said the UAE is the second country to host the largest populations of overseas Filipinos in the Middle East. 

Pimentel has filed Senate Bill No. 2556 seeking to declare Aug. 19 of every year as a special day for the commemoration of the Philippines-United Arab Emirates Friendship Day, underscoring the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two nations on August 19, 1974.

“The Philippines and the UAE share a deep-rooted friendship, characterized by mutual respect, cooperation, and shared values,” Pimentel said.

He related his office has collaborated with the UAE, facilitated by the Emirates Red Crescent, to execute the Iftar program during Ramadan, aimed at supporting various nominated Muslim groups throughout the holy month. 

Furthermore, Pimentel underscored the longstanding humanitarian efforts of the UAE towards the Filipino community, exemplified by various initiatives aimed at supporting Filipinos both within the UAE and in the Philippines. From providing relief aid during natural disasters to extending assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic, the UAE has consistently demonstrated its solidarity and support for the Filipino people, according to Pimentel.

“We commend the UAE government for its proactive approach in addressing the needs of foreign workers and reaffirming its commitment to humanitarian principles,” Pimentel said.

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