Diplomats and officials of the Department of Foreign Affairs are no longer allowed to bring in their own domestic staff on their overseas posts, following the incident of maltreatment of a Filipino household help by the former Philippine ambassador to Brazil.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. on Tuesday stressed that diplomats and consular officers may still be able to bring their domestic staff, but only after they have secure permit from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration.
"DFA no longer allows domestic staff to go with officers assigned abroad. They must apply to POEA (Philippine Overseas Employment Administration). I ceded full authority to it," Locsin said, in his Twitter post on Tuesday.
The new policy came after President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday has approved the dismissal of former Philippine Ambassador to Brazil Marichu Mauro from service, months after she was caught maltreating her Filipino domestic helper inside her residence there.
The DFA chief stressed that the POEA has "safeguards" in place to protect Filipino domestic helpers, saying the Mauro case "cannot happen again."
"POEA sets $400 or $600 as minimum salary deposited in domestic's bank account plus other safeguards. It cannot happen again," Locsin pointed out.
Mauro is banned from holding public office and will not receive retirement benefits for committing physical abuse against her household help, Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said Tuesday.
The dismissal of the ambassador, Sen. Christopher Go said, should serve as a warning that President Rodrigo Duterte would not condone abuses.
Mauro made headlines last November after Brazil's Globo News exposed the ambassador's repeated assault of her 51-year-old Filipina helper inside her diplomatic residence.
The incidents were captured by a security camera and documented by employees who declined to be identified. The report said the victim “was physically assaulted many times, many days.”
In one of the videos, Mauro was seen slapping the victim, but stopped when another employee entered the house.
The envoy was also seen pulling the helper’s ear in another video and hitting the helper with an umbrella in a separate incident. With Vito Barcelo and Macon Ramos-Araneta