The recruitment of housemaids, drivers and cooks from the Philippines would resume Monday after a lull of more than a year and a half, local daily Al-Madinah said yesterday quoting a letter issued by the Philippines minister of labor.
“Negotiations between the Philippines and Saudi Arabia resulted in the resumption in recruitment of manpower from the Southeast Asian country without encroaching on the privacy of the Saudi citizen," Deputy Labor Minister Mefrrij Al-Haqbani said.
He revealed that the two sides had reached an agreement to resume the issuance of work visas for manpower from the Philippines under a contract which was acceptable to the two countries.
“The standard contract will safeguard the rights of both the employee and the employer. It does not touch the privacy of the Saudi citizen,” he added.
The new contract did not include the terms and conditions which were earlier demanded by the Philippines. Among others, these included: the physical presence of the Saudi sponsor to the Philippines Embassy in Riyadh, attachment of a document from the police that the sponsor has no criminal record, a statement giving the details of his salary and a sketch map indicating his house and the area in which he lives.
Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Khaled bin Saud bin Khaled said last week that the Kingdom would again begin issuing job visas for Philippine maidservants beginning next month.
He said the Kingdom agreed to resume recruitment of Philippine maids after the two sides had reached an agreement that respects the sovereignty of the Kingdom and its laws while also protects the rights of Saudi employers.
According to local media reports, a similar agreement was also expected to be reached soon with Indonesia to resume recruitment of Indonesian housemaids.
Recruitment of housemaids from Indonesia and the Philippines was halted about 18 months ago over differences regarding the rights of the housemaids. The Kingdom had resorted to recruiting housemaids from Ethiopia, Kenya and other African and Central Asian countries.