More visas for Filipina maids as rules eased

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DOHA: Qatar has begun issuing work visas for Filipina maids in increasing numbers after Indonesia has imposed a temporary ban on the export here of domestic help.


Sources at the Philippine Overseas Labour Office (POLO) said yesterday they were now endorsing some 80 recruitment requests for maids a day.


The average last year was 30 applications a day, said POLO sources. Filipina maids, who are favourites of Qatari households, had almost stopped coming here after their country raised the minimum wage limit to $400 a month.


“We are being told by manpower agencies that Qatar’s interior ministry is now issuing visas for Filipina maids in large numbers,” said the POLO sources. “No formal announcement has been made in this regard, though.”


“We began getting more recruitment requests last February-March,” said a POLO source. “This is something positive. They still prefer Filipina maids.”


Local Arabic daily Al Raya, meanwhile, reported yesterday that the Indonesian mission had stopped endorsing recruitment requests for maids and the hiring of Ethiopian maids had also seized.


Jakarta has raised the rates and the charges of hiring an Indonesian maid have gone up to QR15,000 ($4,119.2), while the charges are lower (QR12,000) for Filipina maids.


Qatari families have been complaining that most maids being supplied by manpower agencies are the ones who have worked here before.


“Many come here with phone SIM cards. They know this place and they already have contacts, so they run away,” a citizen told the daily.


Manpower agencies should replace a maid after one runs away, said the citizen.


Many suspect that manpower agencies are behind runaway cases. A national said that sometimes a maid comes here only to run away.


“Three maids came together from a country and got employed in three different households. One fine day they together ran away,” another citizen said.


But an agency official, Abdul Rahim Ahmed, denied the accusation and said the problem was that people came running to them after three months complaining that the maid had run away.


“After three months we are not responsible for the conduct of a maid,” said Ahmed. “Why don’t people come complaining in those three months?” he asked.


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