‘Anti-Worker, Unconstitutional, Repressive,’ Migrants Say of POEA’s Sample Contract for OFWs

A group of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) called for the scrapping of the sample contract being promoted by Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) for OFWs.


A group of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) called for the scrapping of the sample contract being promoted by Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) for OFWs.

In a statement, Migrante-Middle East said the contract is ‘anti-worker, repressive and unconstitutional.’

The sample employment contract includes ‘engaging in trade union activities’ as one the causes for the termination of the contract by the employer.

Other causes stated include: serious misconduct, willful disobedience of employer’s lawful orders, habitual neglect of duties, absenteeism, insubordination, among others.

The Uni-Philippine Labor Council, an international labor organization, earlier said the prohibition against union activities clearly violated Convention 87 of the International Labor Organization, the Philippine Constitution, and the Labor Code.

John Leonard Monterona, regional coordinator of Migrante –Middle East, said the POEA made a big mistake by including “engaging in trade union activities” as one of the causes whereby an employer could terminate a worker.

He added that the POEA sample contract is ‘too vicious’ to become a model or standard contract between an OFW and his/her employer.

The Migrante-Middle East said,”It is very ironic that the DoLE [Department of Labor and Employment]-POEA-OWWA [Overseas Workers Welfare Administration] tripartite, the concerned government agencies mandated by law to protect and uphold labor rights of our migrant workers, are turning out to be the principal transgressors of the very rights of migrant workers.”

“This shows the gross ignorance of Philippine Labor Department officials of the Constitution, the Philippine Labor Code, the Migrant Workers Act and even of the United Nations Convention on the Protection of Migrants and Members of their Families to which the Philippine Government is a signatory,” Monterona added.


Monterona also criticized the ‘gross disregard and ignorance by the Philippine Overseas Labor Officials (POLOs) abroad of our national laws and international statutes providing protection for OFWs’ labor rights.’

The Migrante-Middle East said it recorded 939 labor rights-related cases from January to May this year. The cases include illegal termination, non-payment of salaries, contract substitution and non-payment of overtime work, and more than eight-hour regular work.

“Even a simple assertion of entitlements by fellow OFWs of what is stipulated in their employment contract becomes a cause of termination by erring employers,” Monterona added.

Monterona said further, ”We are expecting the POEA to reason out that ‘engaging in trade union activities’ was included as a cause for termination of workers because in some receiving governments, unionism is an illegal act…We don’t want to hear such an unacceptable and condemnable explanation.”

In a news article published by the Philippine Daily Inquirer, POEA administrator Jennifer Manalili said the sample contract was developed in the 1980s for countries in the Middle East, which prohibit union activities.

Monterona said countries constituting the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) prohibit union activities. These include Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and the Sultanate of Oman.

But, he said, this right is guaranteed internationally as well as by Philippine laws.

The group vowed to launch a campaign for the scrapping of the POEA’s sample contract.(Bulatlat.com)

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  1. una po sa lahat ako po humihingi ng tulong sa poea tapos na sa kontrata last oct.2009 hanggang ngayon enero hindi pa nila ako pinapauwi.pumupunta na tako sa ofis hindi nila ako pinapansin at humihingi na rin ako tulong sa cebu poea at sana naman ma actionan na problema.ang agency ko ay mabis agency sa cubao eto po ang number ng may ari 09178982933.

  2. 1. hihingi po kami ng tulong sa inyo para sa madaliang pag-uwi namin. Kami po ay dalawang buwan mahigit na hindi pinasahod ng aming companyang (C. K. G.)sa Libya. Kami po ngayon ay kasalukuyang nasa pangangalaga ng OWWA libya. Kami po ay labing siyam(19) na workers na gusto ng umuwi ng Pilipinas. Kung anumang tulong ang maibibigay ninyo sa amin ay tatanawin naming malaking utang na loob sa inyo. Maraming salamat
    C. K. G. workers

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