DOLE secretary Silvestre Bello III said that they will be talking with the UAE government after it released a Cabinet resolution requiring a 'good conduct and behavior certificate' from expats. File photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine government is mulling talks with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) after it released a Cabinet resolution requiring those aspiring to work in the UAE to provide a certificate proving that they have no substantial criminal record.
“This is not included in our bilateral agreement with the UAE government as regard hiring of Filipino migrants… I wished we had been informed first before they issued this rule so that we could talk about it since we have an existing bilateral agreement with them,” Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III told The Filipino Times.
“The certificate is a new addition. But without talks, this means it is a unilateral decision only. Both parties should agree with any addition to our existing agreement to make it binding,” he added.
Good conduct certificate
The UAE’s Cabinet Resolution No. (1/8#) for 2017 will require aspiring overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to submit a ‘Good Conduct and Behavior Certificate’ as a requirement for receiving a working visa, starting February 4, 2018.
The certificate should be issued from the applicant’s home country or the country of their residency for the last five years, the resolution said. It must also be certified by the state’s mission, as well as the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
When asked which government agency in the Philippines would issue the said certificate, Bello said that he will get in touch with the UAE ambassador to the Philippines to clarify the matter.
The Philippine government, he said, is yet to issue an advisory on the new UAE Cabinet Resolution. However, if both parties can’t build a common ground for the extra certificate asked by the UAE government, Bello said: “I can also inform them that we can suspend the deployment of our workers there.”
This story was republished with permission from The Filipino Times of the United Arab Emirates.