Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Poland seek advice and assistance during the “Kabayan, Idulog mo sa Embassy” session from Consular and Assistance-to-Nationals (ATN) officer Consul Maria Alnee Arugay-Gamble
“Kabayan, Idulog mo sa Embassy” session with OFWs in Poland
WARSAW_The Philippine Embassy in Warsaw held a “ Kabayan, Idulog mo sa Embassy” session- a Sunday Assistance-to-Nationals (ATN) activity for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) - during the Embassy’s monthly “pulong-bayan” held last 11 February 2018.
While the Embassy renders consular and ATN services daily, and even on holodays as the need arises, a special and pro-active “ Kabayan, Idulog mo sa Embassy” session is held with Consular and ATN Officer Mrs. Maria Alnee Arugay-Gamble as part and parcel of the Embassy’s monthly “pulong bayan” (town hall meeting).
The “pulong bayan is held on a Sunday of a given month because this is the most convenient day for OFWs and for other members of the Filipino community to touch-base with embassy personnel for whatever concern they may have and to reinforce community solidarity.
In last Sunday’s session, 13 OFWs who had previously worked in Taiwan informed Consul Gamble that their recruiter told them that they would work in an electronics company/factory in Poland and were promised a net monthly pay of Php 40,000.
However, to their consternation, they ended up working in a company manufacturing cotton buds and receive only a gross monthly salary of Php 35,000.00 each. This salary is further reduced because of deductions for each worker’s social security and health insurance converage and an additional slash of 18% as payment for income tax.
Consul Gamble informed the OFWs that under Polish law, the contract signed by the OFWs is the basis for their remuneration. Any promise or discussion with the Taiwanese recruiter on pay-related matters will only be valid if it was incorporated in the contract. The Embassy noted that the contracts presented by the OFWs had English translations.
Consul Gamble provided advice regarding work contracts in Poland, tax and social insurance obligations, and how to access free medical services they are entitled to as part of the benefits of their membership in the Polish social insurance system.
Consul Gamble likewise informed the OFWs that she will immediately elevate their concerns during her meeting with the National Labor Inspectorate officlals. She had, in fact, already emailed this matter to the relevant official of the said agency soon after the meeting with the OFWs.
There has been a noticeble increase in arrivals to Poland of OFWs who had previously worked in Taiwan.
Embassy staff Mr. Jose Magaso showed a video on the launch of the Overseas Filipinos (OF) Bank before members of the Filipino community
During the “pulong bayan,” embassy staff Mr. Jose Magaso also played the video on the launching of the Overseas Filipinos (OF) Bank. During his visit to Japan on 25 October 2016, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte vowed to uphold the interests of OFWs. He fulfilled his promise and gave “clear directives for the establishment of a bank dedicated to providing financial products and services tailored to the requirements of overseas Filipinos and focused on delivering quality and efficient foreign remittances.”
The establishment of an OF Bank which was promised by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has now become a reality. (END)