Safety Awareness Orientation of Foreign Domestic Worker in Singapore
Maria Theresa S. Samante, Jan 18, 2006
The Department of Labor and Employment said that Singapore has taken step to protect the welfare of foreign domestic workers, especially foreign domestic workers working for the first time in the country through a compulsory Foreign Domestic Workers’ Safety Awareness Course (FDW-SAC).
DOLE Acting Secretary Danilo Cruz said that he has reports from Singaporean government to protect foreign domestic workers dovetail with the Philippine governments’ initiative’s to promote pre-departure orientation seminars (PDOS) to all overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) for global destination.
The FDW-SAC was implemented in 2005 by Singapore Ministry of Manpower (MOM) in cooperation with Singapore National Safety Council (SNSC), the island-economy’s safety body. The course is part of the package of measures to improve the safety and welfare of foreign domestic workers in the country. It is composed of two four-hour classes, each with forty FDWs actively participating in the program's theory and practicum components. It provides the participants with a training kit that incorporates "A Handy Guide for FDWs in Singapore; "Your Rights & Obligations When Working in Singapore;” and an "Orientation Video for FDWs."
The handy guide includes discussions on "work permit regulations and laws of Singapore; keeping yourself healthy; safety in high-rise buildings; electrical and fire safety; prevention of slips and falls; safety and caring for young children, for the elderly and for persons with disabilities; basic first aid and what to do in an emergency; road safety; crime prevention;" vital telephone numbers; and even a portion for a worker to record and account the salary paid by an employer.
Although FDW-SAC is compulsory for first time foreign domestic workers, those who are already employed are likewise encouraged to participate in the program. The medium of instruction is generally English but there are plans to hold classes in Filipino.
Acting Secretary Cruz said the DOLE is eyeing the possibility of incorporating the Singaporean kit into the pre-departure orientation seminar (PDOS) for OFWs.
"This would be good for their protection and welfare and help optimize their productivity in the Singaporean economy", he said.
While on the other hand, Singapore is one of the top 10 global destinations of OFWs in 2005. Preliminary records of DOLE shows that some 20,189 OFWs were deployed in the host economy between January and August, or an increase of 25.14 percent compared to 16,133 in the same period 2004.