Demand rises for Filipino maids

The demand for Filipino household service workers (HSWs) in Qatar has continued to rise significantly since last month after Eid holidays, labour attaché Leopoldo De Jesus told Gulf Times.

According to him, an average of 150 individual employment contracts for HSWs are processed every day, which is a 90% increase from the figures recorded by the Philippine Overseas Labour Office (POLO) last year.

De Jesus said they processed around 80 contracts daily in June and July during Ramadan, which was a huge increase from the 12-15 daily between the last quarter of 2013 and the first quarter of 2014.

“We hope to see more HSWs arriving at the Hamad International Airport starting this month. I believe that many have come already,” he added.

Local Arabic daily Arrayah had earlier reported that the General Directorate of Border, Passports and Expatriate Affairs was now granting visas to Filipino HSWs.

POLO also recorded a huge increase in job order applications from local recruitment agencies, an indicator that the demand for this category of workers had shot up since last year.

The labour attaché also stressed that the number of distressed overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) at POLO has significantly decreased in the past months.

From 12 in July, the number went down to nine persons. These OFWs were mostly housemaids, who had some unresolved problems with their employers and decided to stay at the POLO compound in Doha.

The highest recorded number of such distressed workers reached 147 in December 2012, but the figure reduced to 38 in April 2013.

De Jesus said they usually expect more distressed OFWs when the demand for workers goes up. But this time, he observed that the trend seemed to be reversing.

“We still don’t know why this has happened, but a lot of factors should be considered,” he said. “We are always aiming for a ‘zero’ number of distressed OFWs.”

POLO continues to co-ordinate with the Search and Follow up Department of the Ministry of Interior. He added that the Deportation Centre also sent many OFWs back home in the past few months.

De Jesus also noted that complaints from other categories of workers such as labourers have also lessened significantly.

One of the possible reasons he cited was the strict monitoring of Qatar’s Ministry of Labour on employers who get workers from labour-exporting countries.

He said that they also strictly evaluate companies in Qatar who want to recruit HSWs and labour workers from the Philippines.

Online publication InterAksyon in the Philippines has reported that a government agency cancelled the permits of 63 recruitment agencies for various violations.

It said that the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration wanted to weed out unscrupulous and recalcitrant licensed agencies from its list.

Labour attaché Leopoldo De Jesus.