Phl Embassy in KL Conducts Labor Exchange Conference29 October 2012 -- The Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur said that its Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) successfully conducted the Labor Exchange Conference between the Philippine Association of Manpower Agencies for Malaysia Affiliates (PAMAMA) and POLO-accredited Malaysian agencies held at the Colmar Tropicale at Berjaya Hills in Pahang, Malaysia on October 9.

The conference gained a huge response from the different manpower agencies in the Philippine and Malaysia and was attended by more than 170 participants, a manifestation of the keenness of these agencies to develop and improve the market labor exchange between the Philippines and Malaysia in the various labor sectors.

The participants at the conference developed strategies on labor exchange, job facilitation and employment contracting, welfare and protection for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) consistent with Department of Labor and Employment policies, identified strategies and measures to effectively implement employment policies, and promoted and enhanced camaraderie and achieves unity of purpose on sending/receiving country operators.

In her opening remarks, Labor Attaché Dr. Alicia D. Santos emphasized the need to safeguard the interest and welfare of OFWs, particularly the household service workers (HSWs).

"We are now stricter in order to ensure that recruitment agencies abide by all requirements," Labor Attaché Santos said, referring particularly to the problem of salary deduction and the full implementation US$400 salary for HSWs.

The Labor Attaché stressed the Philippine government's preference to make available and to deploy overseas skilled and semi-skilled jobs and not only concentrate on bringing HSWs to Malaysia.

Various resource speakers presented on topics such as the Embassy's assistance to nationals programs and services, Malaysian immigration laws, government regulations and other issues. Among the speakers included Embassy Third Secretary and Vice Consul John Francis S. Herrera, Malaysian Ministry of Human Resources-Labor Division Assistant Director Mohd Yushairy Zhafran Bin Yusoff, Malaysian banker and solicitor Kerk Boon Leng, and Atty. Steve Yason.

The presentations of each speaker were followed by an open forum with conference participants raising questions ranging from POEA and Malaysian policies mostly related to HSWs.

PAMAMA Chairman Buddy Curameng announced that PAMAMA members signed and issued a Manifesto urging the Malaysian stakeholders engaged in the HSW market to adhere to the Philippine government's policy of "No Placement Fee and No Salary Deduction" including the mandatory US$400 per month minimum salary of HSWs. The said Manifesto was later submitted to Labor Attache Santos during the closing ceremony. END