Here’s a good news for any Pinoy hoping to work abroad but have limited knowledge of foreign language.
On the final reading recently held at the House of Representatives, the new House Bill 4836 has been officially approved requiring that employment contracts for Overseas Filipino Workers to be translated into Filipino or any other local dialect they may be most familiar with. Before this bill, contracts were always exclusively available in English or the host country’s language.
This new policy is a nice initiative that will surely bring positive results. In the past, some OFWs have encountered language-barrier difficulties with their contracts which eventually led to confusion and misinterpretation. With this new bill, misunderstanding and conflict can be avoided in the first place.
Representative Juan Johnny R. Revilla who serves as the chairman of the House Committee on Overseas Workers Affairs said that the employment contract translations will be beneficial for both the employees and the employers.
According to him, “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.”
The translations of the documents will include every important detail of the contract including employment conditions, benefits and compensation, required working hours, health and safety issues, and many more.
As far as its implementation is concerned, employment agencies, recruitment agencies, labor providers, and direct-to-hire foreign employers will be required to comply with this policy and provide a translated contract that the OFW will understand. Those who will not abide will be prohibited to continue with any transactions.
Along with that, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) will help in determining and disseminating information about this new mandate. They will also be in charge of monitoring recruitment agencies, whether they are complying or not.
Violators will be fined an amount of Php 25,000.00.
We hope agencies and employers will comply to this so that more of our non-English speaking OFWs will be able to have a full understanding of the terms and conditions of their employment contracts.