MANILA (Mabuhay) – A lawmaker is proposing to require all recruitment agencies, employment agencies, labor providers and direct-hiring employers of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) to provide a parallel translation in Filipino or in any of the major Philippine Regional of Indigenous Languages, of the employment contracts that the OFWs will sign before their deployment abroad.
Rep. Juan Johnny Revilla (Party-list, OFW Family) said the translation of the employment contract into a language with which the OFW is familiar with will avoid misunderstanding or doubt about the term of the contract.
“The translation of the employment contract shall include the condition of his employment, the compensation and benefits, period of employment, working hours, health and safety issues, among others,” Revilla said.
According to Revilla, there have been many cases of misunderstanding, misinterpretation, confusion and eventual conflict between recruitment agencies or employment agencies, labor providers or direct hiring foreign employers and OFWs on issues of their condition of employment as stated in the employment contracts which only provide and English text and the language of the host country.
“An OFW who is not well versed in the English language is usually at a disadvantage as the employment contracts are usually interpreted in the language that an OFW has difficulty comprehending,” Revilla stressed.
The proposed measure requires the mandatory translation of employment contracts and any of its annexes and attachments prepared by recruitment agencies, employment agencies, labor providers or direct-hiring foreign employers that Filipino Workers will sign before they will be deployed overseas.
House Bill 4836 directs the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) to determine, define and disseminate information regarding the requirements. It shall be responsible for the monitoring compliance of recruitment agencies with this Act.
A fine of P25,000 shall be imposed on any recruitment agency, employment agency, labor provider or direct hire foreign employer who will violate the provisions of this Act.(MNS)