UAE, Philippine officials
UAE and Philippine officials meet during COP28 UAE in Dubai. Image Credit: MoHRE / Supplied

Dubai: Dr. Abdulrahman Al Awar, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE), met with Hans Leo J. Cacdac, Officer-in-Charge of the Department of Migrant Workers DMW) in the Philippines, in the presence of Alfonso Ferdinand Ver, Ambassador of Philippines to the UAE, on the sidelines of Cacdac’s visit to the UAE to attend the 28th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28).

The meeting in Dubai discussed bilateral relations between the two countries, exploring prospects for strengthening collaboration on labour market matters, particularly in terms of managing and facilitating the transition of Filipino labour to the UAE.

Filipinos among highest rates of registration

The discussion included an overview of the integrated legislative system underpinning the UAE labour market, emphasising its role in ensuring an equitable relationship between employers and workers, while providing social protection for the latter through innovative systems, such as the Unemployment Insurance Scheme (UIS), which was launched in January 2023 and has since registered more than 6.7 million participants.

Filipino workers had one of the highest rates of registration with the UAE’s Unemployment Insurance Scheme among all nationalities — reflecting their advanced awareness and confidence in the social protection system enabled by the UAE’s legislative environment.

Voluntary end-of-service scheme

The meeting also covered the voluntary alternative end-of-service savings scheme, known as the “Savings Scheme”.

The scene came into effect in early November 2023 and allows participants to benefit from investment returns on their savings.

Also discussed was a range of other programmes, like the Workers’ Protection Programme, which is designed to ensure the stability and wellbeing of workers, and improve their quality of life.

Joint Committee Meeting

During the meeting, the officials also agreed to hold a Joint Committee Meeting soon to explore further areas of cooperation, opportunities for development, the challenges both sides are facing, and ways to improve.

Dr. Abdulrahman Al Awar said the UAE is committed to providing an attractive work environment for international talent, cementing the country’s status as a leading destination for living and working, which, in turn, ensures mutual development and benefits for the UAE and labour-sending countries such as the Philippines.

Al Awar applauded the Philippines’ collaboration in the Abu Dhabi Dialogue platform, which is a regional, voluntary consultation process, where 18 labour-sending and receiving countries in Asia participate, along with a group of international organisations who act as observers, while the UAE serves as the permanent secretary-general.

Abu Dhabi Dialogue

Al Awar renewed his invitation to Cadac to attend the upcoming seventh edition of the Abu Dhabi Dialogue Ministerial Meeting, scheduled to take place in Dubai in February 2024.

For his part, Hans Cacdac praised the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) for its commitment to protecting the rights of Filipino workers in the UAE, lauding the meeting as a “productive gathering that strengthened the bilateral labour relationship between the two countries.”

The meeting was attended by Khalil Ibrahim Al Khoori, MoHRE’s Undersecretary for Human Resources Affairs, and Shayma Al Awadhi, Assistant Undersecretary for Communication and International Relations, along with His Excellency Alfonso Ferdinand Ver, Ambassador of Philippines to the UAE, and several officials from both sides.