MANILA – A militant migrant workers group accused the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) for tolerating contract substitution, saying it has connived with recruitment agencies on the unfair practice.
Migrante Middle East Regional Coordinator John Monterona said around 30 to 50 percent of abuse cases on migrant Filipino workers are rooted to contract substitution as it received a daily average of seven to 10 reports of abuse.
Under contract substitution, Filipinos who wish to renew their contracts were usually given much lower salaries and benefits than the first contract, Monterona said.
“The other benefits are either deleted or reduced, for example the health insurance provision had been removed, or the hours of work had been extended,” he pointed out, adding that reluctant workers are forced to sign the contract or face joblessness after.
“Many have told us that they have been forced to sign a new set of contracts before their departure at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, while others said upon their arrival on the job site facilitated by the counterpart agency of the deploying agency in the Philippines,” Monterona said.
The group also accused some officials in Dole and Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) of conniving with recruitment agencies that allow contract substitution. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)