Diplomats' private staff to get more benefits, protection as DFA, DOLE ink new MOU

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Photo from DFA

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 11)— Private staff of Filipino diplomats will receive additional benefits and protection under the newly-signed memorandum of understanding between the Foreign Affairs and Labor departments.

The MOU on Cooperation in the Deployment of Private Staff —  inked by DFA Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. and Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III on Friday —  states that the household staff must be paid the minimum wage of the country of destination, "or in its absence, $600 per month."

"This represents a 50% increase from the previous minimum wage requirement of $400 per month," the DFA said in a statement.

Aside from the higher salary and standard contributions to the Social Security System, PhilHealth, and Pag-IBIG, the staff will also receive other benefits such as insurance coverage (including medical and hospitalization costs), and 15 days of paid leave per year.

The guidelines also aim to ensure that the private staff work "under humane conditions" and are protected from any kind of abuse and maltreatment.

The signing of the MOU comes months after the case of former Philippine Ambassador to Brazil Marichu Mauro — who was accused of maltreating her household helper — went viral. President Rodrigo Duterte dismissed the envoy from service earlier this year.