The Philippines government could soon issue a ban on the deployment of domestic workers to three Gulf countries because it says it cannot guarantee their protection.
According to media reports from Manila on Friday, the deployment of household service workers (HSW) to Kuwait, the UAE and Qatar could grind to a halt after the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) recommended a ban.
Filipino maids are currently subject to a separate ban from Saudi Arabia after the kingdom said it was seeking new sources for foreign workers.
The Department of Labour and Employment said it had made the recommendation after the three countries failed to comply with Republic Act 10022 or the Amended Migrant and Overseas Filipino Workers Act of 1995, Manila newspapers reported.
According to Section 3, the Philippines will allow deployment only if the host country has "existing labour and social laws protecting the rights of workers".
Labour Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz was quoted as saying on Thursday said that there was such a recommendation from the DFA but that the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has yet to make a decision.
Approval of the DFA recommendation would likely result in a 50 percent decline of Filipino HSWs deployment in the next few months, Philippines media said.
Household service workers make up a big portion of the eight to 11 million Filipinos working overseas.
In 2010 alone, the total deployment of HSWs reached 96,583, with Hong Kong as the top destination. Kuwait ranked second with 21,554 Filipino domestic workers followed by UAE with 13,184, and Qatar fifth with 9,937, according to an industry source.
Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Labour last month denied media reports that it was set to life a ban on recruiting domestic workers from the Philippines and Indonesia.
Despite reports indicating that a compromise deal had been struck, a ministry spokesman told state news agency SPA that the suspension was still in place.
Saudi Arabia said in June it had decided to stop issuing work visas to bring domestic workers from Indonesia and the Philippines.