A batch of 37 female overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) repatriated from Syria, arrive at 4 p.m. Friday (March 7) via EK 332. OWWA personnel and from Office of the Vice President (center photo) assist the returning OFWs upon their arrival at the Gate 3 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1. (MNS photo)

A batch of 37 female overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) repatriated from Syria, arrive at 4 p.m. Friday (March 7) via EK 332. OWWA personnel and from Office of the Vice President (center photo) assist the returning OFWs upon their arrival at the Gate 3 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1. (MNS photo)

MANILA (Mabuhay) – A senior Philippine labor official in the United Arab Emirates has denied reports on the supposed relaxing of rules in hiring Filipino domestic workers.

Interviewed by Gulf News, Labor Attaché Delmer Cruz of the Philippine Labor Office in Al Ghusais said newly hired Filipino domestic helpers still can’t be deployed to the UAE.

“We are not deploying new household service workers yet. We’re still on the same status as of last year,” Cruz said.

A report on Khaleej Times on Tuesday, citing an unnamed executive at a recruitment agency, said the Philippine embassy may ease the requirements in the next 10 days.

But Cruz said such development would be unlikely at present, pointing out that conflicting recruitment rules that caused deployment to halt in June last year have yet to be resolved.

Philippine Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz declared in December that the UAE Ministry of Labor and the Philippines are negotiating the standardization of employment contracts, working off the unified contract introduced by the Ministry of Interior in June 2014.

Gulf News reported then that the unified contract suspended the roles of embassies in verifying and attesting contracts between labor-sending and labor-receiving countries.

However, a UAE government official said the Ministry of Interior views the “persistence of the Filipino government” to review labor contracts of domestic helpers “an unacceptable intervention on the domestic policies of the UAE ministries.”

The suspension of the maid contract verification has resulted in no new maids getting hired from the Philippines, Cruz said. (MNS)