In this festive season, we honor our dear Domestic Workers. It’s the season of thanksgiving and the Philippine Overseas Labor Office – Dubai (POLO-Dubai) marked its last special consular mission for the year by living up to its promise of care and service with the conduct of the Post’s very first “Salamat, Kabayan! Thanksgiving Service for Domestic Workers in Dubai and the Northern Emirates” on 26 November 2022.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) is host to approximately half a million Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) and while most of this population are professionals, skilled, and semi-skilled workers, a significant percentage is still composed of vulnerable workers such as domestic worker, cleaner, nanny, babysitter, private driver, cook, and the like, who are on a live in basis and may or may not hold the same degree of freedom as the other classifications of OFW. In 2021, the Philippine and UAE governments signed an agreement mandating the use of a unified employment contract with the aim of protecting the rights and safeguarding the welfare of domestic workers. The POLO’s employment contract verification service ensures that the terms and conditions required by the unified employment contract and the labor standards set by both governments are strictly followed.
During the Thanksgiving Service for Domestic Workers, POLO-Dubai offered contract verification, OWWA, SSS, and Pag-IBIG Fund membership services. Along with said regular POLO services, other special services were also made available to domestic workers such as free basic medical check-up/consultation, free haircut, facial, nails cleaning, karaoke challenge with special prizes, raffle prizes, freebies, and games through the assistance of Filipino Communities and individual and corporate partners in the UAE. Over seven hundred domestic workers from Dubai and the Northern Emirates participated in the activity and everybody had big smiles on their faces as they left the POLO with loot bags and game/raffle prizes that they won in the Thanksgiving Service which ranged from electronic appliances, gadgets and accessories, jewelries, gift cards, food items, etc.
This Thanksgiving Service is a way of POLO-Dubai to honor Filipino Domestic Workers in the UAE who are working hard and diligently for their families back home. True to its mandate and commitment to serve OFWs, and in line with the directive of the Department of Migrant Workers Secretary Susan Ople to make the Department and the POLOs or the Migrant Workers Offices the home of OFWs, this Thanksgiving activity showed the POLO-Dubai’s appreciation and recognition of the hard work of Domestic Workers in Dubai and the Northern Emirates.