Hontiveros seeks probe into 'inconsistent' contracts offered to OFWs in Taiwan

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(Photo from Senator Risa Hontiveros Facebook page)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 12) — Senator Risa Hontiveros has called on the Department of Migrant Workers and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration to investigate the "inconsistent" contracts presented by recruiters in Manila and employers in Taiwan to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

"Ayon mismo sa ating mga kababayan, hindi nagtutugma ang mga detalye ng dalawa nilang pinipirmahan para makapagtrabaho sa Taiwan. Misleading ang mga nakasaad. Yung job description, day off, rest day, oras ng trabaho, at maging ang sweldo, hindi pareho," Hontiveros said in a statement.

[Translation: Our countrymen said the details between the two contracts they signed to work in Taiwan do not match. The ones stated are misleading. The job description, day off, rest day, schedule of work, as well as the salary do not match.]

The inconsistencies between the contracts signed in Manila and the Affidavit for Wage/Salary and Expenses signed with the employers in Taiwan pose a threat to OFWs, who are prone to abuse and exploitation, Hontiveros warned.

Citing OFWs who met with her, the senator said Filipino caregivers end up being farmers of pinyin or betel nuts (nganga), while some were forced to take shelter with fellow OFWs.

"May isa tayong OFW, mag-isa lang syang manggagawa sa farm ng employer niya. Siya ang gumagawa ng lahat," Hontiveros said.

[Translation: We have an OFW who works alone in his employer's farm. He does everything.]

She added that the OFWs also raised concern over parts of skills training in Manila that are "unnecessary for their job description," and fees as much as ₱150,000 for training, medical tests, and placement fees, among others.

Aside from meeting Filipinos, Hontiveros also met with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen to discuss the West Philippine Sea issue.