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Filipina live-in caregivers in Canada: migrants' rights and labor issues (a policy analysis) Cuenca, Joseph Gerard B. 1998

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Filipina Live-In Caregivers in Canada: Migrants' Rights and Labor Issues (A Policy Analysis) by J O S E P H G E R A R D B. C U E N C A J . D . , T h e A t e n e o de M a n i l a U n i v e r s i t y S c h o o l o f L a w , 1995 B . A . , T h e U n i v e r s i t y o f the P h i l i p p i n e s , 1991 A THESIS S U B M I T T E D IN PARTIAL F U L F I L M E N T O F THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF M A S T E R OF L A W S in THE F A C U L T Y OFG R A D U A T E  STUDIES  (Faculty o f L a w ) W e a c c e p t this thesis as c o n f o r m i n g T o the r e q u i r e d standard  T H E U N I V E R S I T Y OF BRITISH C O L U M B I A N o v e m b e r 1998 © J o s e p h G e r a r d B . C u e n c a , 1998  In  presenting  degree freely  at  this  the  thesis  in  partial  fulfilment  University  of  British  Columbia,  available for reference  copying  of  department publication  this or  thesis by  of this  for  his thesis  and  study.  or for  her  Department of The University of British Vancouver, Canada  Date  DE-6 (2/88)  3L  PGfcMB&L  I further  Columbia  )W  requirements that the  agree  may be  representatives.  financial  the  I agree  scholarly purposes  permission.  \  of  gain shall  It not  is  that  an  advanced  Library shall  make it  permission for extensive  granted  by the  understood be  for  allowed  head  that without  of  my  copying  or  my written  Abstract A s i a n w o m e n m a k e u p the fastest g r o w i n g category o f the w o r l d ' s p o p u l a t i o n o f migrant w o r k e r s . T h e thesis examines labor and i m m i g r a t i o n policies o f C a n a d a as a host c o u n t r y for F i l i p i n o w o m e n migrant w o r k e r s . It also determines h o w C a n a d a ' s w o r k i n g environment for F i l i p i n o w o m e n migrant w o r k e r s is mapped out. T h e thesis is anchored o n three major concerns. T h e first is an analysis o f the P h i l i p p i n e s as a leading labor e x p o r t i n g country. T h e thesis expounds o n the state mechanisms p r o m o t i n g labor e x p o r t a t i o n and the c o r r e s p o n d i n g problems that ensue. It is argued that a majority o f the problems o f labor m i g r a t i o n from the Philippines can be attributed to the  inadequate  policies and l a w s o f the government i n the 1970s w h e n labor export first flourished. T h e second area o f c o n c e r n is a situation analysis o f the F i l i p i n a migrant w o r k e r s w h o to C a n a d a to w o r k as l i v e - i n caregivers.  T h i s discussion is focused o n C a n a d a ' s  come  general  f r a m e w o r k o f i m m i g r a t i o n laws, foreign w o r k e r policies and the pertinent p r o v i n c i a l labor l a w s o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a . It analyzes h o w these pieces o f legislation have been shaped b y C a n a d a ' s national policies. T h e thesis argues that C a n a d a ' s regulations restricting the rights o f foreign domestic w o r k e r s and the marginalization o f their social m o b i l i t y and status reflect the unequal relationship between the host and the sending countries. T h e third and most important c o n c e r n is a p o l i c y analysis o f the L i v e - I n C a r e g i v e r P r o g r a m vis-a-vis migrants' rights and labor issues. continuation  of  the  Live-In  Caregiver  T h e thesis argues that C a n a d a , t h r o u g h  Program,  provides  Filipino  domestic  the  workers  inequitable w o r k i n g conditions. It is argued that since C a n a d a is an international forerunner i n championing  human  rights,  it becomes  anachronistic  that  a  cluster  o f the  country's  i m m i g r a t i o n policies continue to advocate indentured f o r m o f labor. C a n a d a is i n a unique p o s i t i o n , b o t h as a traditional immigrants' country and as an international player, to blaze the trail for international r e c o g n i t i o n o f migrant w o r k e r s ' rights. C a n a d a must eliminate the double standards i n the L i v e - I n C a r e g i v e r P r o g r a m vis-a-vis the general i m m i g r a t i o n policies. Therefore, it is argued that i n order to maintain the h i g h marks it has been r e c e i v i n g at the international level,  Canada  must  eliminate t w o  requirements  o f the  Live-In  Caregiver  P r o g r a m : F i r s t , the t w o - y e a r live-in requirement and second, the temporary migrant status o f l i v e - i n caregivers u p o n initial entry to Canada. L i v e - i n w o r k must be o p t i o n a l and not subject to the granting o f permanent residence status. T o preserve it international reputation, C a n a d a must also m a k e reforms o n the international level b y ratifying and i m p l e m e n t i n g international conventions.  II  FOR VINO & DUCCI  Special thanks to Prof. Doug Sanders and Prof. Bill Black, Prof. John Borrows and Prof. Wes Pue, the B.C. Law Foundation, LL.M. '96, Lilian Ong, the women and staff at the Philippine Women's Centre and at the West Coast Domestic Workers' Association, and Gerry, Mary and Cindy at the Council.  Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam  Filipina Live-In Caregivers I Canada: Migrants' Rights and Labor Issues (A Policy Analysis) Abstract  ii  Acknowledgment  iii  I.  INTRODUCTION  1  A.  Background  3  B.  Objective and L i m i t a t i o n  7  C.  Methodology  9  H.  THE PHILIPPINES AS A LEADING LABOR EXPORTING COUNTRY  11  A.  Philippine Demographics  B.  Phenomenon o f Philippine L a b o r Migration: Background  12  1.  History o f Philippine L a b o r M i g r a t i o n  15  2.  S o c i o - E c o n o m i c and C u l t u r a l Reasons  3. C.  11  for O u t - M i g r a t i o n  18  The Feminization o f Labor Exportation  25  Overview o f Bureaucratic Regulations and P r o t e c t i v e M e c h a n i s m s 1.  29  Legislation  29  i.  Constitutional Provisions  29  ii.  Labor Laws  31  a.  T h e P h i l i p p i n e Overseas E m p l o y m e n t  b.  W e l f a r e F u n d s and Remittance Schemes  Administration ( P O E A ) c.  T h e Overseas W o r k e r s ' W e l f a r e Administration ( O W W A )  iii.  T h e M i g r a n t W o r k e r s and Overseas F i l i p i n o s A c t o f 1995  2. D.  Protective Mechanisms  R e g u l a t i o n s and P r o b l e m s o f L a b o r E x p o r t a t i o n  41 43 47  IV  m.  1.  Regulations  47  2.  Problems  50  i.  Illegal R e c r u i t m e n t  51  ii.  Non-Documentation  53  iii.  E x p l o i t a t i o n and D e - F e m i n i z a t i o n  58  F I L I P I N A L I V E - I N CAREGIVERS IN BRITISH COLUMBIA AND THE CANADIAN FOREIGN WORKER AND MIGRATION POLICD2S  64  A.  A P r o f i l e o f F i l i p i n a L i v e - I n Caregivers i n B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a  65  B.  Instruments o f R e g u l a t i o n and P r o t e c t i o n  68  1.  C.  C a n a d a ' s F o r e i g n W o r k e r P o l i c i e s : Caribbean D o m e s t i c Scheme to the L i v e - I n C a r e g i v e r P r o g r a m  69  2.  L a b o r R i g h t s and Standards  75  3.  I m m i g r a t i o n C r i t e r i a for L i v e - I n Caregivers  77  4.  S u p p o r t G r o u p s and M e c h a n i s m s  79  A n a l y s i s o f the L i v e - I n C a r e g i v e r P r o g r a m and the I m m i g r a t i o n and L a b o r P o l i c i e s  IV.  82  MIGRANTS' RIGHTS AND LABOR ISSUES IN THE CONTEXT OF THE LrVE-IN CAREGIVERS  IN CANADA  92  A.  A Policy Analysis  92  B.  Conclusion  101  Bibliography  103  v  I.  INTRODUCTION  I n 1993 the Department o f C i t i z e n s h i p and I m m i g r a t i o n C a n a d a started a n a t i o n a l c o n s u l t a t i o n process to obtain the current v i e w s about i m m i g r a t i o n . A P u b l i c P o l i c y F o r u m f o l l o w e d i n 1994. In 1996, the M i n i s t e r o f C i t i z e n s h i p and I m m i g r a t i o n appointed three persons to a n independent I m m i g r a t i o n L e g i s l a t i v e R e v i e w A d v i s o r y G r o u p ( A d v i s o r y G r o u p ) w h i c h w a s tasked to conduct a r e v i e w o f Canada's I m m i g r a t i o n l e g i s l a t i o n and p o l i c i e s , and m a k e r e c o m m e n d a t i o n s b y D e c e m b e r , 1997. T h e A d v i s o r y G r o u p was g i v e n a w i d e mandate w i t h m a n y issues t o consider. E s s e n t i a l l y , the A d v i s o r y G r o u p e x a m i n e d the s u i t a b i l i t y o f the i m m i g r a t i o n a n d refugee l e g i s l a t i o n t o the m i g r a t i o n trends i n the 21st C e n t u r y . T h e R e v i e w consisted,  ...of a re-evaluation of current immigration and refugee legislation through review and analysis  of Canadian social, economic and demographic  trends and their  implications; comparative review and analysis of other countries' experiences with immigration conducting  policy,  including  the results of their own research  interviews of key partners;  recommendations  to strengthen  the  and developing legislative  and  reviews;  a series of options  framework  for  dealing  and with  immigration and refugee matters.  T h e A d v i s o r y G r o u p i n v i t e d w r i t t e n s u b m i s s i o n s f r o m interested i n d i v i d u a l s a n d groups a n d hosted round-table discussions w i t h experts w i t h i n and outside government. T h e A d v i s o r y G r o u p r e c e i v e d o v e r 500 s u b m i s s i o n s .  In December  1997, the legislative r e v i e w report  1  w a s submitted to the M i n i s t e r . I n i t , the  A d v i s o r y G r o u p proposes t w o separate pieces o f legislation: one for I m m i g r a t i o n and C i t i z e n s h i p  Not just numbers. A Canadian Framework for Future Immigration. Immigration Legislative Review. Minister of Public Works and Government Services, 1997. 1  1  a n d one o n P r o t e c t i o n . T h e report consists o f ten chapters c o n t a i n i n g 172 r e c o m m e n d a t i o n s . U n d e r C h a p t e r 6, " B r o a d e n i n g Canada's  E c o n o m i c Base:  Self-Supporting  Immigrants",  R e c o m m e n d a t i o n 75 states,  [t]he Live-In Caregiver Program should be eliminated as a separate visa class and made, both in theory and in practice, entirely consistent with the Foreign Worker Program. The Immigration and Citizenship legislation should allow caregivers with a valid, permanent job offer to apply for landed immigrant status in the SelfSupporting Class.  I n e x p l a i n i n g this r e c o m m e n d a t i o n , the A d v i s o r y G r o u p contends that,  [caregivers should be allowed to live in or live out according to the they make with their employer  arrangement  By eliminating the General Occupations List, we are in effect removing the requirement that a caregiver must live in Canada for two years before applying for landing. . . [ A ] caregiver who meets the core standards for education, official language ability and age could qualify for immigration on the basis of a validated permanent job offer.  W h i l e t h i s i s n o t the first t i m e that Canada's i m m i g r a t i o n p o l i c i e s have b e e n assessed i n s u c h detail  2  the L i v e - I n caregiver P r o g r a m ( L C P ) is n o w cast i n doubt w i t h the I m m i g r a t i o n  L e g i s l a t i v e R e v i e w . It is i n this sense o f urgency that the L C P f o r m s the basis f o r this thesis.  In 1980, the Minister of Employment and Immigration commissioned a Task Force on Immigration Practices and Procedures to assess the Immigration Act and immigration procedures with an emphasis on workers on employment authorizations. 2  2  A.  Background  Between January and June 1997, some 357,209 Filipino migrant workers were deployed to 3  overseas jobs, according to the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, the government agency primarily tasked with the administration o f migrant workers. Meanwhile, the migrant workers sent home remittances amounting to US$1.5 billion in the first half o f 1997. The Philippine government estimates that i n 1995, about 4.2 million Filipinos were working abroad, 2.4 million o f whom had been "processed" or given documented status by the Philippine government.  Overseas labor migration from the Philippines has become so extensive that the government routinely issues "information brochures" to migrant workers going abroad. These information materials aim to familiarize migrant workers with the culture and work ethics i n specific host countries. For example, there are materials warning workers deployed as domestic workers i n Saudi Arabia of the potential sexual harassment by Saudi men and physical abuse by their Saudi mistresses. Filipino migrant workers are repeatedly cautioned that they are at risk o f rape i n the M i d d l e East. In June 1997 the Philippine Department o f Labor and Employment also gave a warning to Filipino migrants not to accompany their employers to Egypt when their Middle Eastern employers vacation there. Many Middle Eastern families take Filipina domestic workers on vacation with them to Egypt where they are considered illegal aliens under Egyptian law. Yet 4  3  4  "Filipino" refers to a man while "Filipina" refers to a woman. However, "Filipinos" is the collective term. Miguel C. Gil, "Economic Indicator OFW remittances up 29%", [Philippine] Business-world, July 23, 1997. 3  despite these w a r n i n g signals f r o m the P h i l i p p i n e government, l a b o r m i g r a t i o n to the M i d d l e E a s t continues. E v e n the r e g i o n a l e c o n o m i c c r i s i s i n A s i a that has w e a k e n e d m a j o r A s i a n e c o n o m i e s h a r d l y affected the n u m b e r o f F i l i p i n o m i g r a n t w o r k e r s t r a v e l l i n g to A s i a n host countries, w h i c h rose i n 1997 to 2 3 5 , 1 2 9 , a c c o u n t i n g for a 25 per cent increase.  5  T h e present p h e n o m e n o n o f F i l i p i n o overseas contract w o r k e r s , o r O C W , i s steadily i n c r e a s i n g as d e p l o y m e n t f o r overseas w o r k continues unabated. T h e O C W p h e n o m e n o n i s d e e p l y entrenched i n the P h i l i p p i n e labor sector as a n alternative o p t i o n to l o c a l e m p l o y m e n t . It i s a r e g u l a r t o p i c w i t h i n P h i l i p p i n e s o c i a l , c u l t u r a l a n d p o p u l a r discourse. T h e m i g r a n t w o r k e r m o v e m e n t has assumed such an important place i n P h i l i p p i n e p o l i t i c a l institutions that i t f o r m s a material aspect i n the country's M e d i u m T e r m P h i l i p p i n e D e v e l o p m e n t P l a n (the M T P D P ) o f 1993. F o r m e r President F i d e l R a m o s l a u n c h e d this government p r o g r a m as part o f the " P h i l i p p i n e s 2 0 0 0 " , to serve as the country's b l u e p r i n t f o r e c o n o m i c d e v e l o p m e n t . E s s e n t i a l l y , " P h i l i p p i n e s 2 0 0 0 " a i m s to achieve a n e c o n o m i c stability for the P h i l i p p i n e s b y the year 2 0 0 0 and h u m a n development is one o f the factors i n the government's strategy. A s a concrete measure o f " P h i l i p p i n e s 2 0 0 0 " , the M i g r a n t W o r k e r s a n d Overseas F i l i p i n o s A c t o f 1 9 9 5 (the M i g r a n t 6  W o r k e r s A c t ) w a s enacted d u r i n g R a m o s ' t e r m . T h e M i g r a n t W o r k e r s A c t seeks to institute measures f o r overseas e m p l o y m e n t a n d establish a h i g h e r degree o f p r o t e c t i o n for the welfare o f m i g r a n t w o r k e r s . " P h i l i p p i n e s 2 0 0 0 " became the r a l l y i n g c r y f o r R a m o s '  government.  5  Agence France Press, "Filipino Workers in Asia up in '97", Philippine Daily Inquirer, April 13, 1998.  6  Philippine Republic Act No. 8042 was signed into law on June 8, 1995. 4  H o w e v e r , critics o f R a m o s ' administration argue that the M T P D P a n d the M i g r a n t W o r k e r s A c t m e r e l y h e l p e d R a m o s institutionalize P h i l i p p i n e labor export. T h e o n l y certainty i n this debate is that the M i g r a n t W o r k e r s A c t is the latest a d d i t i o n to the l o n g list o f acts, rules a n d regulations, p o l i c i e s a n d programs that attempt to deal w i t h the issue o f l a b o r m i g r a t i o n o f four m i l l i o n F i l i p i n o w o r k e r s . T h e P h i l i p p i n e government has established welfare a n d p r o t e c t i o n m e c h a n i s m s since the early 1970s d u r i n g the M a r c o s a d m i n i s t r a t i o n . B u t i f n o t h i n g else, the m e c h a n i s m s are almost a l w a y s the result o f continued p u b l i c c l a m o r for state intervention i n the l a b o r export m o v e m e n t .  F i l i p i n o s first started m i g r a t i n g to C a n a d a i n sporadic numbers d u r i n g the third w a v e o f F i l i p i n o m i g r a t i o n , w h e n N o r t h A m e r i c a w a s i n need o f health w o r k e r s . I n 1967, w h e n C a n a d a r e l a x e d its i m m i g r a t i o n requirements a n d i n t r o d u c e d the p o i n t system, people f r o m A s i a w e r e a l l o w e d to enter C a n a d a o n a n e q u a l f o o t i n g w i t h people f r o m E u r o p e a n d the B r i t i s h Isles. T h e i n f l u x o f A s i a n i m m i g r a n t s into C a n a d a rose r a p i d l y , a n d b y the 1990s A s i a d i s l o d g e d E u r o p e as the r e g i o n o f top source countries for Canada's i m m i g r a n t s . I n 1996 the top f i v e i m m i g r a n t s c a m e f r o m A s i a n countries. T h e P h i l i p p i n e s has been one o f the top sources i n recent years, r a n k i n g s e c o n d , t h i r d a n d fifth i n 1994, 1995 a n d 1996 r e s p e c t i v e l y . I n the past years C a n a d a has fast 7  b e c o m e the c o v e t e d destination for F i l i p i n a m i g r a n t w o r k e r s . T h e c o m m o n route f o r F i l i p i n a s to enter C a n a d a is through the L i v e - I n Caregiver P r o g r a m (the L C P ) . T h e L C P requires t h e m to  "Immigration - Top Ten Source Countries", Facts and Figures 1996. Immigration Overview, Citizenship  and Immigration Canada, Minister of Supply and Services Canada 1997. 5  w o r k as l i v e - i n caregivers ( L I C s ) for a continuous p e r i o d o f at least t w o years after w h i c h they 8  c a n a p p l y for permanent residence a n d for a chance to w o r k other t h a n as L I C s . T h e p o s s i b i l i t y o f permanent residence a n d eventually, C a n a d i a n citizenship, is a great source o f m o t i v a t i o n for F i l i p i n a s to a p p l y under the L C P a n d migrate to C a n a d a . It has repeatedly been c i t e d b y the U n i t e d N a t i o n s as the best country to l i v e i n , a n d for F i l i p i n a m i g r a n t w o r k e r s w h o are p u s h e d b y harsh e c o n o m i c realities to leave the P h i l i p p i n e s for better e m p l o y m e n t opportunities, to w o r k as L I C s i n C a n a d a seems a w e l c o m e respite.  W h i l e C a n a d a is not a trouble area i n terms o f the n u m b e r o f cases o f abuse a n d e x p l o i t a t i o n , it c a n n o t be c a l l e d a h a v e n for F i l i p i n a m i g r a n t w o r k e r s where they are treated e q u a l l y w i t h the other sectors o f the labor force a n d where the c o m m o n e x p l o i t a t i v e tools o f the trade are eradicated. T r u e to its effort t o w a r d b e i n g a n egalitarian c o u n t r y w h e r e everyone c a n l a y c l a i m to the fruits o f a d e m o c r a t i c a n d j u s t n a t i o n , C a n a d a has enacted the L C P to regulate the w o r k o f L I C s a n d a l l o w L I C s to a p p l y for permanent residence status after a two-year p e r i o d o f l i v e - i n w o r k . H o w e v e r , this benefit is not a cause for rejoicing a m o n g the m i g r a n t w o r k e r s because the b u r e a u c r a t i c route to acquire permanent residence status i n C a n a d a is d i f f i c u l t a n d protracted. T h e L C P does not create a n i d e a l e m p l o y m e n t m e c h a n i s m for foreign domestic w o r k e r s w h e r e i n their rights are secured a n d their p r o t e c t i o n is guaranteed. C a n a d a m a y be a d r e a m d e s t i n a t i o n for the d o m e s t i c w o r k e r s , but it is not easy to enter a n d r e m a i n i n the country.  The terms "live-in caregiver" and "domestic worker" are used interchangeably to refer to a person performing household work. 6  B.  Objective and Limitation  T h e thesis e x a m i n e s the n o t i o n o f C a n a d a as a host c o u n t r y for F i l i p i n a L I C s i n r e l a t i o n to applicable legal m e c h a n i s m s and determines h o w its w o r k i n g e n v i r o n m e n t for F i l i p i n a L I C s is m a p p e d out. C a n it then be s a i d that F i l i p i n a L I C s are a c c o r d e d e q u a l treatment i n their e m p l o y m e n t a n d migrant status i n the supposedly gender-equal, r a c i a l l y neutral, a n d e g a l i t a r i a n C a n a d a ? It is important to pose the question o f whether or not C a n a d a is a n e x e m p l a r y c o u n t r y insofar as the e m p l o y m e n t a n d l i v i n g conditions o f foreign domestic workers are concerned. T h e issue is significant to sending countries l i k e the P h i l i p p i n e s w h i c h c a n use the C a n a d i a n set-up i n its i n t e r n a t i o n a l c a m p a i g n for better e m p l o y m e n t standards a n d c o n d i t i o n s i n p r o b l e m countries w h e r e cases o f abuse a n d e x p l o i t a t i o n p r e v a i l . B u t i f the opposite h o l d s true, n a m e l y that f o r e i g n d o m e s t i c w o r k e r s i n C a n a d a i n fact w o r k a n d l i v e i n substandard c o n d i t i o n s i n a high-standard society, then e x p o s i t i o n and suggestions can be made as to w h y these w o r k e r s are mistreated a n d h o w the situation c a n be rectified.  The  thesis is a n c h o r e d o n three m a i n areas: T h e first area concerns the a n a l y s i s o f the  P h i l i p p i n e s as a l e a d i n g labor e x p o r t i n g country. T h e thesis e x a m i n e s the state m e c h a n i s m s i n p r o m o t i n g l a b o r e x p o r t a t i o n a n d the c o r r e s p o n d i n g p r o b l e m s that ensue. It describes the P h i l i p p i n e g o v e r n m e n t i n terms o f its l e g a l o b l i g a t i o n s towards F i l i p i n o m i g r a n t w o r k e r s . T h e second area is a situation analysis o f the F i l i p i n a migrant workers w h o c o m e to C a n a d a to w o r k as L I C s . T h e thesis discusses Canada's general f r a m e w o r k o f i m m i g r a t i o n l a w s , the f o r e i g n w o r k e r p o l i c i e s a n d the pertinent p r o v i n c i a l labor l a w s o f B . C . It analyzes h o w these p i e c e s o f  7  l e g i s l a t i o n have been shaped b y Canada's n a t i o n a l p o l i c i e s . T h e t h i r d area w h i c h is the core analysis o f the thesis presents a p o l i c y analysis o n the L C P v i s - a - v i s migrants' rights a n d labor issues. T h e thesis argues that C a n a d a , t h r o u g h the c o n t i n u a t i o n o f the L C P . p r o v i d e s F i l i p i n a d o m e s t i c w o r k e r s inequitable w o r k i n g c o n d i t i o n s l a c k i n g i n m a n y h u m a n a n d m i g r a n t rights.  C a n a d a is a federal state c o m p o s e d o f several p r o v i n c e s w h i c h retain vast a n d a u t o n o m o u s p o l i t i c a l powers. B e c a u s e o f this decentralized p o l i t i c a l set-up, the issue o f m i g r a n t w o r k e r s i n g e n e r a l a n d the L I C s i n particular cannot be c l e a r l y p l a c e d . W h i l e i m m i g r a t i o n is w i t h i n the d o m a i n o f the federal government, labor is an a m o r p h o u s matter that is essentially w i t h i n the p r o v i n c i a l d o m a i n . T h i s thesis studies the federal government's i m m i g r a t i o n set-up for the L C P . s p e c i f i c a l l y h o w the m i g r a n t w o r k e r s enter C a n a d a a n d h o w their w o r k i n g c o n d i t i o n s appear. T h e study o f their w o r k i n g c o n d i t i o n s is c o n f i n e d w i t h i n the m e t r o p o l i t a n area o f V a n c o u v e r . N e c e s s a r i l y then, the e x a m i n a t i o n o f Canada's F i l i p i n a L I C s is l i m i t e d to the p r o v i n c i a l l a b o r laws o f British C o l u m b i a .  S i m i l a r l y , there is n o separate l e g i s l a t i o n o n domestic w o r k e r s i n the P h i l i p p i n e s , as they f o r m o n l y a part o f the general scheme o f migrant workers. T h e thesis examines P h i l i p p i n e l a w s to the extent that they affect the situation o f female m i g r a n t w o r k e r s . F i n a l l y , w h i l e there are m a n y k i n d s o f m i g r a n t w o r k e r s f r o m the P h i l i p p i n e s i n C a n a d a , this thesis o n l y addresses F i l i p i n a s w h o enter C a n a d a under the L C P or under p r e v i o u s C a n a d i a n f o r e i g n d o m e s t i c  workers'  p r o g r a m s . T h e r e are t w o other categories o f w o m e n ' s m i g r a t i o n f r o m the P h i l i p p i n e s w h o , for  8  p u r p o s e s o f b r e v i t y o f this thesis, are not d i s c u s s e d but are w e l l w o r t h n o t i n g . T h e y are the 'entertainers' w h o s e m a i n destinations are Japan, B r u n e i a n d to a lesser extent, T a i w a n a n d Singapore. Japan's sex industry is a t h r i v i n g business but a disdained occupational w o r k p l a c e for Japanese w o m e n . H e n c e , foreign w o m e n are recruited to w o r k as entertainers w h o often e n d u p as prostitutes. T h e other m i g r a t i o n m o v e m e n t is the business o f m a i l - o r d e r brides w h i c h takes advantage o f Westerners seeking A s i a n w o m e n as desirable w i v e s or h o m e c o m p a n i o n s a n d F i l i p i n a s s e e k i n g a better l i f e b y m a r r y i n g a foreigner. C o u n t r i e s s u c h as G e r m a n y , A u s t r a l i a , Japan a n d T a i w a n are t y p i c a l destinations w i t h expectant grooms. W h i l e this set-up is not a labor m i g r a t i o n m o v e m e n t per  se, it nevertheless w o r k s o n the a s s u m p t i o n that the m e n p r o v i d e  e c o n o m i c comfort to the w o m e n i n exchange for their household services and/or c o m p a n i o n s h i p .  C.  Methodology  T h i s thesis evaluates the existing C a n a d i a n p o l i c i e s o n migrant workers i n the context o f F i l i p i n a d o m e s t i c w o r k e r s w o r k i n g i n C a n a d a as L I C s . T h e p o l i c y analysis is the c u l m i n a t i o n o f the p r e v i o u s i n q u i r y o f the l e g a l set-up o f the P h i l i p p i n e s a n d C a n a d a as the s e n d i n g a n d host country respectively. T h e thesis is i n s p i r e d b y some present theories s u r r o u n d i n g i n t e r n a t i o n a l labor m i g r a t i o n . L i n d q u i s t , i n h i s paper o n P h i l i p p i n e m i g r a t i o n n e t w o r k s , suggests that the 9  m i g r a t i o n m o v e m e n t between the sending and host country has been m a r k e d b y t w o theories that strive to illustrate m i g r a t i o n patterns. T h e first is the f u n c t i o n a l theory w h i c h focuses o n the  Bruce A. Lindquist, "Migration Networks: A Case Study in the Philippines", Asian and Pacific Migration Journal, vol.2, no.l, 1993, at 78-80. 9  e c o n o m i c factors o f a migrant nation and the rational decisions o f its p o p u l a t i o n w h i c h m a y h e l p b r i n g about the e q u a l i z a t i o n o f e c o n o m i c opportunities. T h e alternative theory i s the structural p e r s p e c t i v e w h i c h emphasizes the g l o b a l e c o n o m i c scenario w h e r e m i g r a t i o n m o v e m e n t s are shaped b y external s o c i o - e c o n o m i c arrangements. T h e thesis freely u t i l i z e s either a s s u m p t i o n , l i n k i n g the sending country (origin) w i t h the host country (destination) "to capture the dynamic  nature of various migration  flows."  w  T h i s thesis i s n a r r o w l y focused o n female m i g r a n t w o r k e r s f r o m the P h i l i p p i n e s p r i m a r i l y because they c o m p o s e the majority o f F i l i p i n o citizens w o r k i n g abroad as domestic w o r k e r s , a n d i n v i e w o f the i n c r e a s i n g f e m i n i z a t i o n o f international labor m i g r a t i o n f l o w s . James A . T y n e r , i n his article "the S o c i a l C o n s t r u c t i o n o f G e n d e r e d M i g r a t i o n f r o m the P h i l i p p i n e s " , contends 1 1  that the s o c i a l construction o f gender explains that "differences between women and men result  from the development of sexist ideologies which confuse biological differences with sociological differences."  12  T y n e r goes further to argue that s o c i a l c o n s t r u c t i o n o f gender m u s t b e p e r c e i v e d  not i n i s o l a t i o n but i n correlation w i t h social construction o f class, race o r nationality. T h i s thesis adopts T y n e r ' s argument a n d clarifies that gender considerations i n m i g r a t i o n f l o w s are i n e x t r i c a b l y l i n k e d w i t h e c o n o m i c assumptions.  10  11  12  Ibid, at 80. Asian and Pacific Migration Journal, vol.3, no.4, 1994, at 592-593. Ibid, at 592.  II.  T H E PHILIPPINES AS A LEADING LABOR EXPORTING COUNTRY  A.  Philippine Demographics  T h e P h i l i p p i n e g e o g r a p h y is a n archipelago c o n s i s t i n g o f over 7,000 islands. B e c a u s e o f this fragmentation the people speak over 80 different dialects. F i l i p i n o , the l i n g u a franca, i s s p o k e n b y o n l y 5 0 p e r cent o f the p o p u l a t i o n . A l s o , the P h i l i p p i n e s i s the o n l y A s i a n c o u n t r y w i t h a p r e d o m i n a n t l y C a t h o l i c population. T h i s i s a legacy f r o m four centuries o f S p a n i s h c o l o n i a l rule. T h e present p o l i t i c a l system f o l l o w s the democratic style o f the U n i t e d States the s e c o n d c o l o n i z e r , w h i c h o c c u p i e d the P h i l i p p i n e s i n 1898. D u r i n g this year, S p a i n " s o l d " the P h i l i p p i n e s to the U n i t e d States to settle the dispute over C u b a . T h e U n i t e d States w a s later ousted b y J a p a n d u r i n g W o r l d W a r II. A f t e r three years o f Japanese occupation, the U n i t e d States returned to the P h i l i p p i n e shores and helped free the P h i l i p p i n e s f r o m Japanese rule. E v e n t u a l l y , the P h i l i p p i n e s p r o c l a i m e d its independence i n 1946.  W h e n F e r d i n a n d M a r c o s w a s elected  as President  i n 1 9 6 5 , the P h i l i p p i n e s '  economic  p e r f o r m a n c e w a s s e c o n d to that o f J a p a n i n A s i a . H o w e v e r , M a r c o s l e d the c o u n t r y into its darkest era. D u r i n g h i s dictatorial r e i g n he i m p o s e d martial l a w , enriched his cronies and stashed a w a y m i l l i o n s o f P e s o s i n h i s f o r e i g n b a n k accounts, created p o l i t i c a l a n d s o c i a l unrest, a n d c o m m i t t e d numerous violations o f h u m a n and c i v i l rights. T h e assassination o f M a r c o s ' p o l i t i c a l a r c h r i v a l B e n i g n o A q u i n o o n A u g u s t 2 1 , 1983 o n h i s return from e x i l e i n the U n i t e d States triggered a n outcry for p o l i t i c a l change. I n 1986, the M a r c o s dictatorship w a s o v e r t h r o w n w h e n  11  a n event k n o w n as 'People P o w e r ' transpired i n M a n i l a . H u n d r e d s o f thousands o f F i l i p i n o s p o u r e d o u t to the streets to b l o c k the tanks that M a r c o s h a d ordered i n h i s last attempt to m a i n t a i n power. H e later fled w i t h his allies and C o r a z o n A q u i n o , the w i d o w o f B e n i g n o A q u i n o t o o k over the presidency. A l t h o u g h A q u i n o d i d not fare w e l l i n h e r s i x - y e a r t e r m , she w a s able to preserve the n e w l y acquired democracy. F i d e l R a m o s succeeded A q u i n o as President i n 1992. In June 1998, J o s e p h E s t r a d a became the P h i l i p p i n e s ' 1 3 President a n d the t h i r d to b e elected th  i n a free a n d d e m o c r a t i c process since the late President M a r c o s f l e d the c o u n t r y i n 1 9 8 6 .  B.  Phenomenon of Philippine Labor Migration: Background  I n the last years under President R a m o s ' r e g i m e , the P h i l i p p i n e e c o n o m y seemed to b e p i c k i n g u p . T h e P h i l i p p i n e s enjoyed a remarkable increase i n its G N P g r o w t h i n 1 9 9 6 .  13  Recent  developments have p a i n t e d a bright picture o f the country's future: T h e A P E C s u m m i t , h e l d i n M a n i l a last N o v e m b e r 1996, w a s a surprise success a n d sealed m a n y trade agreements w i t h n e i g h b o r i n g e c o n o m i e s . T h e P h i l i p p i n e s o f 1996 w a s touted as the n e w " e c o n o m i c tiger" to watch i n A s i a .  1 4  E v e n the International M o n e t a r y F u n d "was finally  impressed and gave the  country high marks for its ability to keep a tight lid on inflation and sustaining the upturn"}  5  1998.  16  economic  T h e P h i l i p p i n e s f i n a l l y completed its International M o n e t a r y F u n d p r o g r a m I n M a r c h  R a m o s opened peace talks w i t h the c o m m u n i s t and M u s l i m rebels a n d r e c o n c i l e d right-  w i n g m i l i t a r y rebels b a c k to government ranks. P u b l i c p e r c e p t i o n o f P r e s i d e n t R a m o s '  1 3  1 4  1 5  1 6  "1996 GNP growth registers at 6.8%", The Philippine Star, January 30, 1997. Newsweek called the Philippines "Asia's new tiger" in its November 25, 1996 Asian issue. "The Star's Top Ten Business Stories for '96", The Philippine Star, January 1, 1997. Doris C. Dumlao, "RP free at last from IMF 'hold'", Philippine Daily Inquirer, March 29, 1998. 12  a c c o m p l i s h m e n t s w e r e better than any p o l i t i c a l analyst h a d p r e d i c t e d w h e n he w a s elected i n 1992. F o r a m o m e n t , President R a m o s appeared to be o n the right track for the r e m a i n d e r o f h i s t e r m w h e n he attempted to address and resolve every major p u b l i c issue that captured the p u b l i c interest.  T h e m i g r a n t w o r k e r situation, one o f the country's m a i n p r o b l e m s that has c a u s e d n a t i o n a l e m b a r r a s s m e n t a n d a n u m b e r o f h i g h p r o f i l e resignations a n d t e r m i n a t i o n s , w a s g i v e n a l o n g d e l a y e d response d u r i n g R a m o s ' t e r m w h e n C o n g r e s s enacted the M i g r a n t W o r k e r s A c t .  One  o f the major catalysts i n s o l i c i t i n g government a c t i o n w a s the h a n g i n g o f F l o r C o n t e m p l a c i o n , a F i l i p i n a d o m e s t i c w o r k e r i n Singapore, for k i l l i n g a f e l l o w d o m e s t i c w o r k e r a n d the latter's w a r d i n the first quarter o f 1995. T h e tragedy stirred the n a t i o n a l consciousness a n d c o m p e l l e d legislators to squarely address the P h i l i p p i n e m i g r a n t w o r k e r p r o b l e m to p a c i f y a n agitated a n d d i s m a y e d n a t i o n . F u r t h e r government a c t i o n became necessary w h e n shortly after the i n c i d e n t i n Singapore another F i l i p i n a domestic worker, then 16-year o l d Sarah B a l a b a g a n , was sentenced to death i n the U n i t e d A r a b E m i r a t e s for k i l l i n g her e m p l o y e r w h o h a d repeatedly r a p e d her i n one day. Balabagan's death sentence was c o m m u t e d to a lighter penalty w h i c h c a n be attributed to  extensive  m e d i a coverage a n d strong p u b l i c pressure.  B u t the damage w a s  done.  C o n t e m p l a c i o n w a s h a n g e d a c c o r d i n g to schedule, despite a t i m i d p l e a f r o m the P h i l i p p i n e g o v e r n m e n t f o r c l e m e n c y , a n d later, for a stay o f e x e c u t i o n . T h i s i n c i d e n t l e d to a n a t i o n a l outrage o v e r the p l i g h t o f P h i l i p p i n e m i g r a n t w o r k e r s , s p e c i f i c a l l y the v u l n e r a b l e  female  domestic workers. There was also a strong p u b l i c c l a m o r for r e - e x a m i n i n g government measures  13  that w o u l d protect the workers abroad. G o v e r n m e n t actions to curb labor m i g r a t i o n or to c o n t r o l its f l o w w e r e often m e t w i t h c y n i c i s m , a n d n o t w i t h o u t a reason. I n response to the C o n t e m p l a c i o n i n c i d e n t , d i p l o m a t i c ties w i t h Singapore w e r e i n i t i a l l y d o w n s i z e d o n l y to b e s l o w l y r e s u m e d after the flare h a d d i e d d o w n .  1 7  T h e g o v e r n m e n t offered free a n d safe  r e p a t r i a t i o n to the P h i l i p p i n e s f o r those d o m e s t i c w o r k e r s w h o w a n t e d to leave S i n g a p o r e because o f e x p l o i t a t i o n a n d abuse. A l t h o u g h sensing the u n u s u a l m a g n i t u d e o f unrest the case t r i g g e r e d , the P h i l i p p i n e government w a s f u l l y aware that i t h a d to be careful not to o v e r t l y offend S i n g a p o r e . G o v e r n m e n t h a d to ensure that the welfare o f F i l i p i n a d o m e s t i c w o r k e r s e m p l o y e d i n S i n g a p o r e w a s safeguarded. T h i s w a s a d i f f i c u l t task, c o n s i d e r i n g the outrage d i s p l a y e d b y the F i l i p i n o s . B e c a u s e o f this p u b l i c reaction the S i n g a p o r e a n E m b a s s y a n d its o f f i c e staff h a d to b e guarded a n d p r o v i d e d w i t h security. M e a n w h i l e , several groups o f concerned F i l i p i n o s p u b l i c l y burned the Singaporean flag, a n d m a n y f e m i n i s t groups h e l d v i g i l i n k e y spots i n M a n i l a w h i l e they awaited the verdict o n C o n t e m p l a c i o n ' s case. R a m o s s u p p l i e d a bureaucratic s o l u t i o n : A n a t i o n a l c o m m i s s i o n w a s e s t a b l i s h e d  18  that m a d e up-to-date studies  o n F i l i p i n o migrant workers d e p l o y e d around the w o r l d . T h e c o m m i s s i o n t r a v e l l e d e x t e n s i v e l y i n host countries w i t h F i l i p i n o m i g r a n t w o r k e r s . T h e c o m m i s s i o n w a s i n s t r u m e n t a l i n p u s h i n g for t h e passage o f the M i g r a n t W o r k e r s A c t . T h i s l e g i s l a t i o n i s the c u l m i n a t i o n o f o v e r t w o decades o f g o v e r n m e n t g r a p p l i n g w i t h the p h e n o m e n o n o f P h i l i p p i n e l a b o r m i g r a t i o n a n d the m y r i a d o f issues a n d p r o b l e m s i t created.  The Philippine Embassy in Singapore was reduced on March 22, 1995 when the ambassador was replaced by a charge d'affaires. In April 1996 a new ambassador to Singapore prepared to assume his post, effectively ending the diplomatic friction with Singapore. The commission was called the Gancayco Commission, named after the head of the commission, a former associate justice of the Philippine Supreme Court. 1 7  1 8  14  1.  History of Philippine Labor Migration  T h e P h i l i p p i n e s i s arguably the world's largest exporter o f labor. F i l i p i n o w o r k e r s c a n be f o u n d l a b o r i n g o n c o n s t r u c t i o n sites i n S a u d i A r a b i a , l o o k i n g after c h i l d r e n i n H o n g K o n g a n d Singapore, entertaining i n T o k y o bars, dusting o f f furniture i n Italian mansions, d o i n g graveyard shifts as nurses i n the U n i t e d States and c r e w i n g ships i n the h i g h seas. T h e labor m i g r a t i o n f r o m the P h i l i p p i n e s f o r m a l l y b e g a n i n the early 1970s w h e n g o v e r n m e n t o p e n l y e n d o r s e d overseas e m p l o y m e n t as a t e m p o r a r y means to curb the g r o w i n g u n e m p l o y m e n t rate. B u t the h i s t o r y o f l a b o r m i g r a t i o n f r o m the P h i l i p p i n e s goes b a c k m a n y decades. O r i g i n a l l y e n v i s i o n e d as a t e m p o r a r y p o l i c y , the P h i l i p p i n e government has n o w c o n d o n e d o v e r t w o decades o f n e a r l y unabated m i g r a t i o n o f F i l i p i n o w o r k e r s to v i r t u a l l y every corner i n the w o r l d . M i g r a t i o n m o v e m e n t s are traditionally perceived as a n i n d i v i d u a l choice to "seek greener pastures", to start a n e w i n another country, o r s i m p l y to achieve changes i n lifestyle. W h i l e the e c o n o m i c situation o f the c o u n t r y o f o r i g i n has often p l a y e d as a s t i m u l u s for m i g r a t i o n , this has never b e e n m o r e apparent than i n the P h i l i p p i n e m i g r a t i o n m o v e m e n t .  There were basically four major waves o f labor m i g r a t i o n i n P h i l i p p i n e h i s t o r y .  19  T h e first w a v e  occurred d u r i n g the M a n i l a - A c a p u l c o G a l l e o n Trade where F i l i p i n o s assumed labor tasks aboard m a n y o f the trade ships. T h e second o u t f l o w began at the turn o f this century w h e n a n u m b e r o f  The analysis of this section is partly based on a paper by Catherine Paredes-Maceda, "Responding to Filipino Migration Realities: A Framework for Cooperation", OCWs in Crisis: Protecting Filipino Migrant Workers, Ateneo Human Rights Center, Makati, Philippines, 1995, at 9, and Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, White Paper, the Overseas Employment Program, Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Republic of the Philippines, Manila: DOLE, April 1995, at 10. 15  F i l i p i n o w o r k e r s travelled to H a w a i i as plantation w o r k e r s . T h e n u m b e r o f F i l i p i n o s g r e w f r o m a m e r e t w o h u n d r e d to s u c h great p r o p o r t i o n s that at one p o i n t i n t i m e , they f o r m e d about seventy per cent o f H a w a i i ' s labor p l a n t a t i o n p o p u l a t i o n . O t h e r F i l i p i n o m i g r a n t s m o v e d to the U n i t e d States for t r a i n i n g as students, a n d s o m e relocated there to h o l d m e n i a l j o b s i n restaurants, hotels, r a i l r o a d constructions, a g r i c u l t u r a l plantations a n d canneries. A p p l e a n d orange p i c k e r s were also i n demand i n C a l i f o r n i a , a n d F i l i p i n o s f i l l e d that need as w e l l . B y 1923 there w e r e o v e r 5 , 0 0 0 F i l i p i n o s b e i n g recruited y e a r l y to w o r k i n f i s h canneries i n A l a s k a . A t h i r d w a v e o f F i l i p i n o i m m i g r a n t s to the U n i t e d States started after the S e c o n d W o r l d W a r w h i c h i n c l u d e d m i l i t a r y s e r v i c e m e n , y o u n g professionals, a n d students s e e k i n g h i g h e r studies. A s f o r m e r c o l o n i a l s o f the U n i t e d States, F i l i p i n o s c o u l d migrate to the U n i t e d States w i t h o u t restrictions. A t about the same t i m e , A u s t r a l i a a n d C a n a d a h a d b e g u n to hire m e d i c a l w o r k e r s . T h e last surge o f F i l i p i n o i m m i g r a n t s consisted m a i n l y o f O C W s and engineers w h o were i n h i g h d e m a n d i n o i l - r i c h countries l i k e S a u d i A r a b i a , Iran a n d K u w a i t d u r i n g the 1970s. A l s o , a h a n d f u l o f F i l i p i n o veterans m o v e d to the U n i t e d States to c o m p l e t e their n a t u r a l i z a t i o n p r i v i l e g e s f o r s e r v i n g the A l l i e d F o r c e s d u r i n g W o r l d W a r II. D u r i n g the same p e r i o d , international ship owners began to scout for crews i n S o u t h E a s t A s i a for w h i c h the P h i l i p p i n e s w a s a major source. B y 1983, j o b openings i n operations a n d maintenance as w e l l as i n service emerged i n the M i d d l e East. N u r s e s , hotel personnel, office clerks, professionals, laboratory a n d m e d i c a l t e c h n i c i a n s a n d other related w o r k e r groups t o o k the o p p o r t u n i t y .  16  It w a s d u r i n g the fourth m i g r a t i o n w a v e to the M i d d l e E a s t e r n countries, r i c h i n o i l but p o o r i n labor s k i l l s a n d resources, that F i l i p i n o s f o u n d the greatest number o f w o r k opportunities to h e l p i n the construction sites a n d o i l fields. T h e w o r l d demand for o i l d u r i n g the m i d - 1 9 7 0 s p r o d u c e d extraordinary g r o w t h i n oil-revenues a n d p r o v i d e d the M i d d l e E a s t e r n countries w i t h the financial resources to b u i l d n e w infrastructure. I n i t i a l l y , these countries turned to their neighbors for inexpensive labor. P a k i s t a n was a favorite sending country. L a t e r , the P h i l i p p i n e s p r o v e d to be a n a d d i t i o n a l source for a seemingly u n e n d i n g supply o f inexpensive but s k i l f u l a n d educated labor. T h i s l e d to the first regulatory response b y the P h i l i p p i n e government w h e n it enacted the P h i l i p p i n e L a b o r C o d e (the L a b o r Code^ i n 1 9 7 4 .  20  T h e 1990s m i g r a t i o n m o v e m e n t c a n be c o n s i d e r e d the fifth w a v e i n w h i c h a g r a d u a l shift o f e m p l o y m e n t destination. W o r k e r s began to try their l u c k i n n e i g h b o r i n g Southeast A s i a n c o u n t r i e s w h i c h e m e r g e d as the c h o i c e destinations. I n particular, J a p a n , T a i w a n , H o n g K o n g a n d S i n g a p o r e are the countries s o l i c i t i n g the services o f F i l i p i n o w o r k e r s . It is estimated that i n 1994, a l m o s t 2 1 2 , 0 0 0 land-based F i l i p i n o contract w o r k e r s w e n t to A s i a n countries w h i l e almost 313,000 were d e p l o y e d to the M i d d l e E a s t .  21  T h e fifth w a v e also m a r k e d a shift o f l a b o r  m i g r a t i o n t o w a r d s p r e d o m i n a n t l y female w o r k e r s , m o s t o f w h o m w o r k i n f o r e i g n countries as domestic w o r k e r s , nurses and entertainers. A m o n g the land-based workers d e p l o y e d as o f 1994,  M  Philippine Presidential Decree No. 442 [1974].  2 1  Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, White Paper, the Overseas Employment Program,  Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Republic of the Philippines, Manila: DOLE, April 1995, at 5. 17  5 6 5 , 2 2 6 are female, w h i l e 2 9 1 , 9 1 6 are m a l e w o r k e r s .  22  W h e n occupations i n p r o d u c t i o n a n d  c o n s t r u c t i o n i n the M i d d l e East h a d been f i l l e d the service sector t o o k o v e r as the p r e v a i l i n g occupational category. Furthermore, because o f the disparate e c o n o m i c development i n the S o u t h East A s i a n r e g i o n , the r i c h e r countries experience a shortage o f l o w - s k i l l e d labor, whereas the p o o r e r countries (the P h i l i p p i n e s i n c l u d e d ) suffer f r o m labor o v e r s u p p l y o f u n d e r e m p l o y e d o r u n e m p l o y e d citizens.  2.  Socio-Economic and Cultural Reasons for Migration  W h e n the P h i l i p p i n e s declared its independence i n 1946 its n a t i o n a l e c o n o m y f o c u s e d o n t w o aspects: a n i n t e r n a t i o n a l l y c o m p e t i t i v e a n d export-oriented a g r i c u l t u r a l sector a n d a s m a l l e r u r b a n i n d u s t r i a l a n d service sector. T h e P h i l i p p i n e government t h e n adapted to a n i m p o r t substitution strategy w h i c h u t i l i z e d the earnings f r o m agricultural exports. These resources w e r e u s e d t o s u b s i d i z e the d e v e l o p m e n t o f h o m e - g r o w n manufacturers w h o w e r e s h i e l d e d f r o m f o r e i g n c o m p e t i t i o n t h r o u g h h i g h tariffs. H o w e v e r , the d e d i c a t i o n to s u c h i n w a r d - l o o k i n g p o l i c i e s p r o v e d to be e c o n o m i c a l l y unsound. T h e P h i l i p p i n e s used capital-intensive p r o d u c t i o n t e c h n i q u e s a n d i m p o r t e d labor s a v i n g m a c h i n e r y w h i c h w a s m o r e suitable to i n d u s t r i a l i z e d c o u n t r i e s . T h e result w a s predictable: r u r a l w o r k e r s stood i n l i n e for j o b s i n protected u r b a n i n d u s t r i e s a n d j o i n e d the i n f o r m a l e c o n o m y w h i l e w a i t i n g f o r e m p l o y m e n t . M a n y o f these u n e m p l o y e d a n d u n d e r e m p l o y e d workers are n o w anxious to emigrate. T h e n President M a r c o s ' d e c l a r a t i o n o f M a r t i a l L a w i n September 1971 p a v e d the w a y f o r t r a n s f o r m i n g the p l a n n e d  2 2  Ibid, at 6.  18  t e m p o r a r y l a b o r e x p o r t a t i o n as a permanent h u m a n resource p r o g r a m w h e r e b y disenchanted F i l i p i n o w o r k e r s c o u l d escape the harsh p o l i t i c a l a n d e c o n o m i c situation. I n 1979 the P h i l i p p i n e s was one o f the first countries to a v a i l o f the structural adjustment loans w h e n these w e r e s t i l l at an experimental stage. B y the 1980s the P h i l i p p i n e s was suffering f r o m a f u l l - b l o w n debt c r i s i s as t h e e c o n o m y w a s t a k i n g b l o w s f r o m enforced debt payments a n d the structural adjustment programs. T h e structural adjustment l o a n p r o g r a m m e r e l y served to intensify the s o c i o - e c o n o m i c crisis.  23  T o d a y , the P h i l i p p i n e s experiences a p o p u l a t i o n g r o w t h o f about 2.1 per cent per a n n u m w h i l e the l a b o r force i s estimated to g r o w at 2.9 p e r cent per year. T h e p o l i t i c a l s y s t e m , t h o u g h d e m o c r a t i c i n style, i s beset w i t h the w a y s o f patronage a n d p r i v i l e g e .  24  T h e l o n g S p a n i s h rule  i n s t i l l e d a s y s t e m o f p o l i t i c a l e l i t i s m a n d entrenched f a m i l y dynasties often c o m p o s e d o f landowners i n p o w e r f u l government positions. T h i s s o c i o - p o l i t i c a l climate has endured o v e r the centuries a n d has created a tremendous gap between the r i c h a n d p o o r . T h e W o r l d B a n k estimated that the p r o p o r t i o n o f people l i v i n g i n p o v e r t y i n the P h i l i p p i n e s i s 3 9 p e r cent as c o m p a r e d to 2 2 per cent i n T h a i l a n d , 19 per cent i n Indonesia, 14 per cent i n M a l a y s i a a n d 5 p e r cent i n S o u t h K o r e a .  2 5  Indeed, the e c o n o m i c elite i n the P h i l i p p i n e s i s t r e m e n d o u s l y r i c h : T h e  average i n c o m e o f the richest fifth i n the P h i l i p p i n e s i s almost 11 t i m e s the average i n c o m e per  Antonio Tujan, Jr. The Crisis of Philippine Labor Migration. IBON: People's Policy and Advocacy Studies, May 1995, at 6. 2 4  David M . Foreman, "Protecting Philippine Overseas Contract Workers", Comparative Labor Law Journal,  vol. 16, 1994/95, at 35. "Steady Eddie", in Back on the Road, The Economist, May 11 , 1996, at 5. 2 5  th  19  head.  26  T h e e c o n o m i c i m p l i c a t i o n s cannot be o v e r l o o k e d . I n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n b e c a m e  more  i m p o r t a n t t h a n the a g r i c u l t u r a l sector, e v e n t h o u g h the natural resources o f the P h i l i p p i n e s are c o n d u c i v e for f a r m i n g industries. N a t i o n a l e c o n o m i c p o l i c i e s gave preference to u r b a n o v e r rural areas. T h e result w a s m a s s i v e u n e m p l o y m e n t a n d u n d e r e m p l o y m e n t i n the r u r a l areas w h e r e farmers lost the incentive to t o i l o n l a n d that d i d not b e l o n g to them. T h e population's e x o d u s to the u r b a n areas w a s thus inevitable. B u t the e c o n o m i c w o e s were not s o l v e d i n the 'urban j u n g l e s ' . T h e n a t i o n a l c a p i t a l r e g i o n , M e t r o M a n i l a , already suffering f r o m o v e r p o p u l a t i o n , i s n o w also o v e r c r o w d e d w i t h rural migrants unable to l a n d j o b s . O t h e r u r b a n g r o w t h p r o b l e m s have  also e m e r g e d  i n M a n i l a : traffic congestion, squatter a n d s l u m areas,  and  abject  e n v i r o n m e n t a l c o n d i t i o n s . A s a result o f M e t r o M a n i l a ' s l a b o r o v e r s u p p l y , the w a g e s d r o p p e d . T h e L a b o r C o d e mandates a m o n t h l y salary o f P h i l i p p i n e Pesos ( P H P ) 5 5 0 . 0 0 to 8 0 0 . 0 0 for house helpers,  27  w h i c h is about C A N $ 2 8 . 0 0 to 4 0 . 0 0 .  28  I n contrast, the salary f o r d o m e s t i c  w o r k e r s i n H o n g K o n g is H K $ 3 , 7 5 0 . 0 0 , or P H P 1 2 , 6 0 0 . 0 0 w h i l e i n C a n a d a it is c u r r e n t l y 2 9  pegged at C A N S 1,232.00, or P H P 2 4 , 6 4 0 . 0 0 per m o n t h . T h u s , it is n o surprise that overseas w o r k is regarded as a n e c o n o m i c s a l v a t i o n .  A n o t h e r p u s h factor f o r m i g r a t i o n w a s the p e r v a s i v e landlessness a m o n g the peasant sector. A f t e r r e g a i n i n g d e m o c r a c y under the n e w l y i n s t a l l e d government o f President A q u i n o , the  2 6  Ibid.  The minimum wage indicated is over four years old, from Art. 143, Chapter III - Employment of Househelpers, as amended by Philippine Republic Act 7655, approved on August 19, 1993. The figures are arrived at by using a CANS 1.00 = PHP20.00 exchange rate. 2 7  2 8 2 9  Supra, note 21, at 36.  20  C o m p r e h e n s i v e A g r a r i a n R e f o r m L a w was enacted i n 1 9 8 8  30  (the C A R L ) . O n paper the C A R L  seems i m p r e s s i v e . It stipulates that a l l p u b l i c and private a g r i c u l t u r a l l a n d is subject to the redistribution o f land. T h e C A R L imposes strict deadlines for lands to be redistributed. H o w e v e r , w h i l e the C A R L was a legislative success, its implementation was discouraging. L e g a l loopholes were soon taken advantage of. F o r example, lands o r i g i n a l l y agricultural i n nature, a n d therefore w i t h i n the j u r i s d i c t i o n o f the C A R L , w e r e q u i c k l y "declared" as residential or c o m m e r c i a l i n nature, b y setting up b o g u s construction activities. A l s o , g o v e r n m e n t l a c k e d the necessary resources to q u i c k l y put the C A R L provisions into action, thus g i v i n g the l a n d o w n e r s sufficient time  to  convert  their lands  into n o n - a g r i c u l t u r a l ones.  What  further  complicated  the  i m p l e m e n t a t i o n o f the C A R L was the fact that anti-agricultural sentiments e c h o e d i n the h a l l s o f the Congress where u n t i l today, ten years after the passage o f C A R L , legislators w h o are also large l a n d o w n e r s ensure that l a n d r e f o r m l e g i s l a t i o n is stifled. I n fact, e v e n then President A q u i n o , a l a n d o w n e r herself o f vast tracts o f l a n d north o f M a n i l a , seemed hesitant to subject her l a n d to the C A R L .  3 1  T h u s , the protective mantle o f social justice i n the C A R L p r o v i s i o n s l a c k e d  teeth i n its i m p l e m e n t a t i o n stage and c o u l d not sustain the farmers a n d their f a m i l i e s w h o c o n t i n u e d to t i l l o n l a n d that w a s not their o w n . F o r m a n y d i s g r u n t l e d farmers, the s o l u t i o n to their p r o b l e m s w a s emigration, to the urban j u n g l e o f M a n i l a , or m i g r a t i o n from the P h i l i p p i n e s .  Philippine Republic Act No. 6557. Ironically, the first Speaker of the House of Representatives of President Joseph Estrada's administration is Rep. Jose Villar who is one of the Philippines' largest landowners. M  31  21  T h e lure o f overseas e m p l o y m e n t b e c o m e s e v e n m o r e evident i f w a g e rates i n n e i g h b o r i n g countries are studied. A v e r a g e w a g e s i n Japan or H o n g K o n g are at least ten t i m e s h i g h e r than that o f the P h i l i p p i n e s . These regional wage disparities seemed to justify the sacrifices m a d e for overseas w o r k . T h e substantial f o r e i g n exchange earnings o n the part o f the g o v e r n m e n t f r o m m i g r a n t workers' remittances a n d the increased purchasing p o w e r at h o m e o f the migrant w o r k e r s f i n a l l y institutionalized the O C W phenomenon. It i s n o surprise that the M a r c o s a d m i n i s t r a t i o n turned to labor export policies to q u e l l the e c o n o m i c unrest i n the P h i l i p p i n e s . A study o n l a b o r exporting countries suggests that sending country's rationale for labor export is p r e m i s e d o n three a s s u m e d d e v e l o p m e n t a l benefits:  First, labour emigration is considered to be a rapid and inexpensive way to alleviate unemployment. Second, it is thought that the policy will improve the stock of human capital as workers return with skills acquired through their work experience abroad. Third, it is perceived that the remittances of workers will both help to alleviate the balance  of payment problems  and promote  development  through  increased  investment}  2  T h e s e p o i n t s s u m up the sentiments o f the p o l i c y makers o f the M a r c o s a d m i n i s t r a t i o n d u r i n g the early 1970s. T h e government has since refined the policies into a sophisticated administrative m e c h a n i s m for labor export that is being studied for its c o m m e n d a b l e structure b y other sending c o u n t r i e s s u c h as V i e t n a m a n d E g y p t . H o w e v e r , its degree o f success i s another matter. T h e d e v e l o p m e n t a l benefits listed above m a y h o l d true for the first years o f labor m i g r a t i o n , but i t is doubtful whether they are v a l i d for the present situation. A l t h o u g h the u n e m p l o y m e n t rate o f the P h i l i p p i n e s w a s greatly r e d u c e d b y the constant e m i g r a t i o n trend it also b r e d c o m p l a c e n c y  C.W. Stahl, "Manpower Export and Economic Development: Evidence From the Philippines", International Organization for Migration, vol. xxvi, no. 2, June 1988, at 147. 3 2  22  i n g o v e r n m e n t p o l i c y - m a k i n g . T h i s i s p a r t i c u l a r l y evident i n the p r i v a t i z a t i o n o f the overseas r e c r u i t m e n t s y s t e m w h i c h government encouraged early o n . A s w i l l be d i s c u s s e d b e l o w , the a c t i v e p a r t i c i p a t i o n o f the private sector i n recruitment m e c h a n i s m o f laborers created a m u l t i t u d e o f p r o b l e m s , b o t h f o r the o u t g o i n g w o r k e r s a n d the government. A l s o , w h i l e it i s generally true that w o r k e r s b r i n g h o m e n e w l y - a c q u i r e d s k i l l s f r o m their overseas j o b s , studies have suggested that these s k i l l s c o u l d have been learned at h o m e as w e l l . A s a counter-argument, one c o u l d p o i n t out the " b r a i n d r a i n " effect o f labor m i g r a t i o n . S k i l l e d w o r k e r s a n d m a n y professionals such as health workers succumb to the temptation o f overseas e m p l o y m e n t , l e a v i n g the r u r a l areas i n the P h i l i p p i n e s w a n t i n g i n b a d l y needed health s o c i a l service p e r s o n n e l a n d other professional s k i l l s . It has also been posited that the l a b o r m i g r a t i o n set-up m a k e s it c o s t l y for s e n d i n g countries to send their w o r k e r s . O n the other h a n d , it i s r e l a t i v e l y i n e x p e n s i v e f o r host countries to accept temporary f o r e i g n w o r k e r s because it i s the s e n d i n g countries w h o p a y for the w o r k e r s e d u c a t i o n a n d s o c i a l services. F i n a l l y , w h i l e the issue o f remittances w i l l be d i s c u s s e d i n m o r e detail b e l o w , some aspects c a n be e x a m i n e d b r i e f l y at this p o i n t . It is suggested that w h i l e remittances h a d a n d continue to have a tremendous effect o n the balance o f p a y m e n t a n d f o r e i g n exchange reserves o f the P h i l i p p i n e s , studies have also s h o w n that the m o n i e s sent h o m e are rarely invested i n job-generating activities. T h e y are instead u s e d f o r direct s p e n d i n g s u c h as purchase o r r e n o v a t i o n o f f a m i l y homes. It i s also argued that, "[w]hile the  record OCW remittances have kept the economy afloat especially in the midst of an economic crisis, there is danger to an excessive reliance on them".  33  Florian A. Alburo, "Remittances, Trade and the Philippine Economy", Asian and Pacific Migration Journal, vol. 2, no. 3, 1993, at 271. 3 3  23  T h u s , the long-standing s o c i o - e c o n o m i c conditions that fuelled the debt crisis i n the P h i l i p p i n e s a n d c a u s e d a stagnant G D P g r o w t h a n d e c o n o m y throughout the 1980s acted as pressures f o r m i g r a t i o n . T h e h i g h rate o f u n e m p l o y m e n t a n d u n d e r e m p l o y m e n t i n the i n f o r m a l l a b o r sectors w a s another p u s h factor. A n a d d i t i o n a l reason is the generally h i g h l e v e l o f e d u c a t i o n a n d t r a i n i n g o f F i l i p i n o labor i n contrast to its l e v e l o f t e c h n o l o g i c a l a n d i n d u s t r i a l d e v e l o p m e n t . F u r t h e r , p r o b l e m s o f p o v e r t y a n d landlessness stimulated m i g r a t i o n towards the u r b a n areas w h e r e the l a b o r situation is already o v e r c r o w d e d . T h i s u r b a n g r o w t h p r o b l e m a n d l a b o r o v e r s u p p l y also contributed to the labor exportation.  C l e a r l y , the deteriorating P h i l i p p i n e e c o n o m y p l a y e d a k e y role i n shaping the m i g r a t i o n process i n the past. T h e P h i l i p p i n e government hopes that w i t h the i m p r o v e m e n t o f the G N P g r o w t h i n the last t w o years there w i l l be sufficient resources to establish a self-reliant e c o n o m y a n d create c o m p e t i t i v e j o b s . B u t it w o u l d be i n c o m p l e t e to propose that the p h e n o m e n o n o f m i g r a n t w o r k e r s i n the P h i l i p p i n e s is s o l e l y due to the country's dearth i n e m p l o y m e n t o p p o r t u n i t i e s , a l t h o u g h l a b o r e x p o r t a t i o n certainly p r o v i d e d a source o f d e c o m p r e s s i n g the v a l v e o f p o v e r t y a n d u n e m p l o y m e n t . T h e impetus for e m i g r a t i o n is a c o m p l e x w e b o f interrelated factors: the e c o n o m i c s i t u a t i o n o f the P h i l i p p i n e s , facets o f s o c i o l o g i c a l a n d c u l t u r a l d y n a m i s m a n d other actors (e.g., g o v e r n m e n t p o l i c i e s a d v o c a t i n g l a b o r export, recruitment m e c h a n i s m s  and  n e t w o r k s ) that f u e l l e d a ' m i g r a t i o n mentality'.  24  3.  The Feminization of Labor Exportation  F i l i p i n a s n o w c o m p o s e the majority o f the migrant labor force. It is a p a r t i c u l a r l y d i s c o n c e r t i n g reality that the g o v e r n m e n t has to c o m e to terms w i t h . Indeed, it i s a m a s s i v e case o f F i l i p i n o daughters, w i v e s a n d mothers lost to the w o r l d ' s j o b markets i n the service sectors w h e r e the w o m e n w o r k p r e d o m i n a n t l y as d o m e s t i c w o r k e r s a n d entertainers. These are o c c u p a t i o n s that are t r a d i t i o n a l l y m a r g i n a l i z e d , g i v e n l o w respect a n d inadequate p r o t e c t i o n i n the l a b o r force. O b v i o u s l y , the large n u m b e r o f e x i s t i n g private recruitment agencies m a k e s it easier to lure u n s u s p e c t i n g w o m e n f r o m far f l u n g p r o v i n c e s . B u t there i s m o r e t h a n mere existence o f r e c r u i t m e n t m e c h a n i s m s that increases female l a b o r m i g r a t i o n f r o m the P h i l i p p i n e s . T h e overseas occupations available to F i l i p i n o labor determined to a large extent the gender f l o w o f l a b o r m i g r a t i o n . I n the early years, a p r e d o m i n a n t l y m a l e l a b o r force t r a v e l l e d a b r o a d f o r construction w o r k to M i d d l e Eastern countries l i k e the K i n g d o m o f S a u d i A r a b i a , I r a q , K u w a i t and the U n i t e d A r a b Emirates. M a l e c r e w members for ships were also i n h i g h d e m a n d . D u r i n g this p e r i o d the t w o adjunct agencies to the F i l i p i n o labor department that h a n d l e d overseas labor w e r e the O v e r s e a s E m p l o y m e n t D e v e l o p m e n t B o a r d a n d the N a t i o n a l S e a m e n B o a r d . D u r i n g the late 1980s a n d the early 1990s, the M i d d l e E a s t h a d c o m p l e t e d m o s t o f its c o n s t r u c t i o n o f infrastructure; w h a t it n o w needed w e r e w o r k e r s f o r the service sector. H e n c e f o r t h , m o r e F i l i p i n a s t r a v e l l e d to the M i d d l e E a s t to f i l l p o s i t i o n s as d o m e s t i c w o r k e r s a n d nurses. It i s e s t i m a t e d that f r o m 1984 to 1996, the S a u d i A r a b i a n labor market absorbed o v e r 2.5 m i l l i o n F i l i p i n o contract workers. H o w e v e r , at about the same time, w i t h i n A s i a , a distinct o c c u p a t i o n a l pattern o f F i l i p i n o migrant workers emerged. T h e demand f o r F i l i p i n a d o m e s t i c w o r k e r s i n this  25  r e g i o n rose p h e n o m e n a l l y m a r k i n g a shift f r o m the M i d d l e E a s t e r n countries to the n e w l y i n d u s t r i a l i z e d A s i a n e c o n o m i e s . W h i l e S a u d i A r a b i a remains the top destination f o r F i l i p i n o w o r k e r s , H o n g K o n g , Japan, T a i w a n a n d Singapore are fast c a t c h i n g u p . I n particular, H o n g K o n g a n d Singapore are major host countries o f F i l i p i n a domestic workers. C o n s i d e r i n g the size o f the t w o countries, the total n u m b e r o f F i l i p i n o workers that a r r i v e d w i t h i n a p e r i o d o f t w e l v e years i s a s t o u n d i n g : H o n g K o n g w i t h 5 2 5 , 0 0 0 a n d Singapore w i t h 131,000 w o r k e r s . T h i s d e m a n d for F i l i p i n a domestic workers has developed as a result o f a large n u m b e r o f H o n g K o n g and S i n g a p o r e a n w o m e n entering the labor force, thereby creating the need for h i r e d d o m e s t i c w o r k to p r o v i d e f a m i l y a n d h o m e care.  A closer l o o k at the pattern o f labor m o b i l i t y w i t h i n the P h i l i p p i n e s suggests that labor m i g r a t i o n f r o m the P h i l i p p i n e s i s n o t the o n l y a c t i v i t y . A n o t h e r m i g r a t i o n a c t i v i t y , the r u r a l - u r b a n m i g r a t i o n , occurs f r o m rural a n d l i k e l y less developed areas o f the P h i l i p p i n e s to the urban, more d e v e l o p e d places. O n e w r i t e r puts it s u c c i n c t l y :  The overall pattern is suggestive of a dualistic labor migration phenomenon, where domestic migration involves shifts ofpopulation from poorer to the richer but  not  abroad,  and  a separate  one from the richer  regions  to  regions, overseas  destinations. * 3  A study has y e t to b e c o n d u c t e d that analyzes F i l i p i n a s w o r k i n g overseas as d o m e s t i c w o r k e r s w h o leave their h o m e s a n d c h i l d r e n to the care o f other w o m e n f r o m the p o o r e r r e g i o n s o f the  Ashawani Saith, "Emigration Pressures and Structural Change in the Philippines", Manila: ILO/SEAPAT, draft, 1996, at 30, quoted in Dr. Rashid Amjad, "Philippines and Indonesia: On the Way to a Migration Transition", Asian and Pacific Migration Journal, vol. 5, nos. 2-3, 1996, at 353. 3 4  26  P h i l i p p i n e s . T h e P h i l i p p i n e s is thus a g o o d e x a m p l e o f the theory o f d u a l m i g r a t i o n m o v e m e n t at w o r k . T h e class-based structure o f e m p l o y i n g domestic h e l p dates b a c k to c o l o n i a l t i m e s a n d still exists i n a t y p i c a l urban F i l i p i n o f a m i l y w h i c h e m p l o y s a d o m e s t i c w o r k e r so that the w i f e h e r s e l f m a y c o n s i d e r w o r k i n g as one overseas. B u t this is n o t a n analogous pattern to the e m e r g i n g h o u s e h o l d structure i n developed countries where i n l i e u o f daycare facilities, m i d d l e class f a m i l i e s enjoy the p r i v i l e g e o f e m p l o y i n g a n a n n y .  35  W h a t occurs i n the P h i l i p p i n e set-up  is h u m a n l a b o r that handles tasks already b e i n g taken care o f b y m a c h i n e s a n d superior t e c h n o l o g y i n d e v e l o p e d countries. T h e a b i l i t y to hire a m a i d g i v e s b o t h spouses the a b i l i t y to w o r k w h i c h often means overseas w o r k , i n c l u d i n g w o r k as a foreign domestic w o r k e r . I r o n i c a l l y then, w h i l e m o r e w o m e n f r o m host countries s u c h as C a n a d a are entering the l a b o r market, thereby emancipating themselves and f e m i n i z i n g the w o r k force, they are b e i n g replaced i n their t r a d i t i o n a l h o u s e h o l d functions b y F i l i p i n a d o m e s t i c w o r k e r s , w h o i n t u r n , are b e i n g def e m i n i z e d b y the b o n d e d labor they perform. D e - f e m i n i z a t i o n , therefore, does n o t o c c u r f o r the first t i m e i n the host countries. T h e same p h e n o m e n o n happens w i t h i n the sending countries s u c h as the P h i l i p p i n e s .  T h u s , the d u a l m i g r a t i o n pattern i n the P h i l i p p i n e s i n general a n d i n the u r b a n cities s u c h as M e t r o M a n i l a i n particular, p r o v i d e favorable conditions for w o m e n to seek e m p l o y m e n t abroad. W o m e n w h o have m i g r a t e d f r o m the poorer regions f i n d e m p l o y m e n t i n u r b a n h o u s e h o l d s because their e m p l o y e r migrates or intends to do so. I n short, the other w a y o f l o o k i n g at the d u a l  The terms "domestic worker" and "nanny" are here used interchangeably. The latter is the preferred term in Canada. 3 5  27  m i g r a t i o n m o v e m e n t is a "graduated" labor m o v e m e n t , i n w h i c h w o m e n i n i t i a l l y m i g r a t e  from  the r u r a l areas to the u r b a n cities, a n d after succeeding there, f i n a l l y migrate a w a y f r o m the P h i l i p p i n e s for better compensated w o r k abroad.  A s p r e v i o u s l y discussed one stimulus for labor m i g r a t i o n are the large wage differences between the P h i l i p p i n e s a n d overseas. There are also v i s i b l e e c o n o m i c benefits i n every f a m i l y that is related to a F i l i p i n a migrant w o r k e r that tantalize the underpaid w o m e n b a c k h o m e : the n e i g h b o r w h o s e sister or daughter has left to w o r k as a d o m e s t i c w o r k e r p r o u d l y d i s p l a y i n g her latest Japanese e l e c t r o n i c gadgets a n d p r o u d l y a n n o u n c i n g her y o u n g e r son's entry i n t o u n i v e r s i t y t h a n k s to the remittances, or the c o u s i n w h o comes h o m e from w o r k as a H o n g K o n g n a n n y d o n n i n g signature clothes. Sometimes this j u x t a p o s i t i o n leads to p a r a d o x i c a l situations, l i k e the sight o f a satellite d i s h i n the m i d s t o f a squatter area where telephone lines are a l u x u r y a n d even tap water is a life-threatening scarcity. M o s t importantly, there seems to exist a c u l t u r a l attitude among  w o r k i n g class F i l i p i n a s that r o m a n t i c i z e s the n o t i o n o f t r a v e l i n g abroad. T h i s is not  surprising i f one considers the e c o n o m i c realities facing these w o m e n ; the best chance f o r t h e m to see the w o r l d is v i a the m i g r a n t labor route. It is already a n e n o r m o u s i n v e s t m e n t for rural w o m e n to migrate to the urban areas. H e n c e , i n a m o r b i d sense, some o f these w o m e n desire to m a k e the v o y a g e so they c a n w o r k abroad a n d experience travel at the same t i m e . It turns t h e m into instant globetrotters a n d into f i n a n c i a l assets for the f a m i l y left b a c k h o m e .  C.  Overview of Bureaucratic Regulations and Protective Mechanisms  1.  Legislation  T h e P h i l i p p i n e government f o l l o w s the p r i n c i p l e o f separation o f p o w e r s and o f three co-equal branches o f government: the legislative, the executive and the j u d i c i a l b r a n c h . T h e p r i m a r y l a w o f the l a n d , the 1987 P h i l i p p i n e C o n s t i t u t i o n was o v e r w h e l m i n g l y ratified i n 1987 i n a plebiscite c a l l e d f o r that purpose. T h e 1987 C o n s t i t u t i o n a n d P r e s i d e n t i a l D e c r e e N o . 4 4 2 w h i c h w a s decreed b y President M a r c o s during the M a r t i a l L a w p e r i o d and w h i c h b e c a m e the L a b o r C o d e p r o v i d e for the legislative basis o f P h i l i p p i n e labor l a w s and p o l i c i e s .  i.  Constitutional Provisions  T h e ratification o f the 1987 C o n s t i t u t i o n established for the first t i m e constitutional p r o v i s i o n s o f a preferential treatment o f the labor sector. A r t i c l e II o f the 1987 C o n s t i t u t i o n enunciates the D e c l a r a t i o n o f P r i n c i p l e s and State P o l i c i e s . It provides, a m o n g others, that, "[t]he State affirms labor as a primary social economic force ... it shall protect the rights of workers and promote their welfare" , 36  thus categorically  protecting the rights o f laborers. Inherent i n the same  p r o v i s i o n s o f the 1987 Constitution i s the protection o f the basic h u m a n rights o f every F i l i p i n o . T h e 1987 C o n s t i t u t i o n further p r o v i d e s that,  1987 Philippine Constitution. Article II, section 18: Declaration of Principles and Statement Policies State Policies. 29  [t]he State values the dignity of every human person and guarantees full respect for human  rights?  1  The State shall afford full protection to labor, local and overseas, organized and unorganized, andpromote full employment and equality of employment opportunities for all. * ( E m p h a s i s supplied) 3  T h e p r o v i s i o n s s h o w that the P h i l i p p i n e g o v e r n m e n t has r e c o g n i z e d the i m p o r t a n c e o f setting u p protective m e c h a n i s m s for its m i g r a n t w o r k e r s . It also shows the l e v e l o f p o l i t i c a l attention that the issue o n labor export attracts. These constitutional p r o v i s i o n s were also meant to respond to the entrenched O C W p h e n o m e n o n . H o w e v e r , the r a t i f i c a t i o n o f the 1987 C o n s t i t u t i o n presented an ambitious task for the P h i l i p p i n e legislature. T h e 1987 C o n s t i t u t i o n w a s drafted b y a C o n s t i t u t i o n a l C o m m i s s i o n c o m p o s e d o f m e m b e r s a p p o i n t e d b y then P r e s i d e n t A q u i n o ' s " f r e e d o m g o v e r n m e n t " , the r e v o l u t i o n a r y g o v e r n m e n t that r e p l a c e d the d i c t a t o r i a l r e g i m e o f d e p o s e d a n d e x i l e d President M a r c o s . T h e A q u i n o g o v e r n m e n t w a s r e v o l u t i o n a r y i n the sense that i t c a m e into existence i n defiance o f e x i s t i n g l e g a l processes a n d i n o p p o s i t i o n t o the a u t h o r i t a r i a n v a l u e s a n d practices o f the o v e r t h r o w n M a r c o s g o v e r n m e n t . M u c h o f the 1987 Constitution's ambitious tone can be traced back to the p o s i t i v e d i s p o s i t i o n that p r e v a i l e d i n the P h i l i p p i n e s i n 1986 a n d 1987, j u s t after the h i s t o r i c " P e o p l e P o w e r " r e v o l u t i o n . Its v e r b o s i t y arose f r o m the C o n s t i t u t i o n a l C o m m i s s i o n ' s a n x i e t y that o m i s s i o n o f s o m e p r o v i s i o n s m a y enable a president to r e - i m p o s e m a r t i a l l a w a n d repeat what M a r c o s h a d done i n September o f 1972. There was also a c o n c e r n to ensure that ratification o f subsequent constitutions w o u l d truly reside w i t h the P h i l i p p i n e people, i n reaction to the u n c e r e m o n i o u s a n d u n i l a t e r a l " r a t i f i c a t i o n "  3 7  Ibid, Article II, section 11: Declaration of Principles and Statement Policies - State Policies. Ibid, Article XIII, section 3: Social Justice and Human Rights - Labor. 30  o f the 1973 P h i l i p p i n e C o n s t i t u t i o n b y then President M a r c o s . T h u s , the 1987 C o n s t i t u t i o n i s 3 9  a w a s h w i t h a m b i t i o u s declarations that amount to v e r y little u n t i l i m p l e m e n t a t i o n has been fleshed out, or u n t i l enabling l a w has been put i n place. O n the other h a n d , the 1987 C o n s t i t u t i o n is a reflection o f p u b l i c d e t e r m i n a t i o n b a c k i n 1986 t o start a n e w a n d p u t b e h i n d the m e m o r i e s o f the M a r c o s dictatorship that p l u n g e d the country into its darkest history. T h u s , the lengthiness a n d a s p i r a t i o n a l character o f the 1987 C o n s t i t u t i o n i s a necessary d e r i v a t i v e o f the p o l i t i c a l m i l i e u the P h i l i p p i n e s reflected after the " P e o p l e P o w e r " r e v o l u t i o n .  ii.  Labor Laws \  I n the 1970s, d u r i n g the fourth w a v e o f m i g r a t i o n , the P h i l i p p i n e g o v e r n m e n t w a s f a c i n g a deteriorating economy  w h i l e r e a l i z i n g the opportunities o f better  employment  abroad.  G o v e r n m e n t s a w the urgent need to protect the F i l i p i n o w o r k e r s w h o w e r e q u i c k l y s e i z i n g the chance a n d l e a v i n g the country. A m i d d l e g r o u n d between e n d o r s i n g l a b o r e x p o r t a t i o n a n d the protection a n d welfare o f its workers w a s envisioned w h e n the L a b o r C o d e w a s w r i t t e n i n 1974. A r t i c l e 3 o f the L a b o r C o d e declares the state's basic labor p o l i c y : The State shall afford protection work opportunities  regardless  to labor, promote full employment, ensure equal of sex, race or creed, and regulate the  relations  between workers and employers. The State shall assure the rights of the workers to self-organization,  collective bargaining, security of tenure, and just and humane  conditions of work.  President Marcos initially submitted the 1973 Philippine Constitution to the Filipino people for ratification or rejection. Marcos later suspended the plebiscite. Meanwhile, he convened the Citizens Assemblies which was asked, among others, the question, "do you approve of the New Constitution?". Marcos then announced that the Citizens Assemblies ratified the 1973 Constitution and the Supreme Court declared the ratification legally valid. 31  T h e L a b o r C o d e i s a n innovative yet h i g h l y convoluted source for the country's labor l a w s . F r o m it f l o w m y r i a d s o f i m p l e m e n t i n g rules a n d regulations, c i r c u l a r s a n d m e m o r a n d a w h i c h are p e r i o d i c a l l y a m e n d e d to reflect the p r e v a i l i n g labor c o n d i t i o n s .  a.  The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (the POEA)  P a r t o f the L a b o r C o d e deals w i t h p r e - e m p l o y m e n t . I n i t i a l l y , three g o v e r n m e n t b o d i e s w e r e created to e x c l u s i v e l y administer the migrant labor force: T h e B u r e a u o f E m p l o y m e n t S e r v i c e s , the O v e r s e a s E m p l o y m e n t D e v e l o p m e n t B o a r d a n d the N a t i o n a l S e a m e n B o a r d . T h e c r e a t i o n o f the three bodies v i r t u a l l y e l i m i n a t e d p a r t i c i p a t i o n o f the private-sector i n overseas w o r k recruitment. H o w e v e r , their existence p r o v e d to be o f short duration. A s the d e m a n d for F i l i p i n o labor steadily increased the regulatory capacities o f these bodies were s o o n exhausted. F i r s t , the participation o f the private sector w a s renewed i n 1978. T h i s trend o f p r i v a t i z a t i o n o f recruitment a c t i v i t i e s persisted, a n d the 1989 P O E A A n n u a l R e p o r t noted that the p r i v a t e sector w a s r e s p o n s i b l e f o r the placement o f 9 6 p e r cent o f m i g r a n t w o r k e r s . S e c o n d , i n 1 9 8 2 the three b o a r d s were r e p l a c e d b y the P O E A .  4 0  T h e P O E A became a n adjunct office o f the D e p a r t m e n t  o f L a b o r a n d E m p l o y m e n t ( D O L E ) a n d n o w oversees the entire s y s t e m o f P h i l i p p i n e l a b o r export. T h e P O E A is mandated to install a systematic p r o g r a m for p r o m o t i n g a n d m o n i t o r i n g the overseas e m p l o y m e n t o f F i l i p i n o w o r k e r s , t a k i n g into c o n s i d e r a t i o n d o m e s t i c l a b o r force r e q u i r e m e n t s , a n d to protect the rights o f w o r k e r s to fair a n d equitable e m p l o y m e n t practices. I n short, the P O E A became the government agency  responsible f o r the r e g u l a t i o n a n d  Created by Philippine Presidential Decree No. 797 in 1982 and reorganized through Philippine Executive Order No. 247 in 1987. 4 0  32  s u p e r v i s i o n o f a l l recruitment activities a n d the h i r i n g a n d d e p l o y m e n t o f w o r k e r s sent abroad. T h i s m e c h a n i s m w o r k e d o n the assumption that any recruitment o f F i l i p i n o laborers w o u l d have to pass t h r o u g h the P O E A process. H o w e v e r , welfare a n d p r o t e c t i o n o f the F i l i p i n o overseas w o r k e r s w a s i n i t i a l l y not o n the P O E A ' s agenda because the government d i d not see the need for it.  A t the t i m e o f its creation the P O E A d i d not anticipate the m a g n i t u d e o f F i l i p i n o m i g r a n t w o r k e r s w h o were to travel abroad i n search f o r (better) e m p l o y m e n t a n d h i g h e r r e m u n e r a t i o n . S l o w l y , cases o f abuse, fraudulent h i r i n g practices b y b o t h F i l i p i n o recruiters a n d the f o r e i g n e m p l o y e r s a n d other recruitment a n d labor v i o l a t i o n s began to surface. I n 1 9 8 7 , P r e s i d e n t A q u i n o restructured the P O E A , c i t i n g t w o m a i n reasons:  It has become necessary to institute changes in the functional structure of the [ P O E A ] in order to enhance its effectiveness in responding to changing market and economic conditions and to all of the national development plan for the strengthening of the worker protection and regulation components of the overseas employment program; and the [ P O E A ] has to systematize its operations by rationalizing its functions, structure and organization to make it more efficient in undertaking its principal functions of protecting [the workers'] rights to fair and equitable employment practices, and in order that it may respond more effectively to the new demands for... more efficient adjudication of cases and more efficient manpower delivery system} 1  T h u s , President A q u i n o r e a l i z e d the urgent need to i n c l u d e protective m e c h a n i s m s f o r the P h i l i p p i n e s ' m i g r a n t w o r k e r s . U n d e r the n e w l a w , the P O E A n o w manages the w h o l e l a b o r  4 1  Philippine Executive Order No. 247 [1987], second and third whereas clause, respectively. 33  exportation process - from recruitment a n d pre-departure o f the w o r k e r s u n t i l their repatriation from the host countries and p r o d u c t i v e reintegration into P h i l i p p i n e society. C o n s e q u e n t l y , the P O E A is n o w also responsible for overseeing the welfare o f the m i g r a n t w o r k e r s .  42  A s i d e from d e f i n i n g the p o w e r and functions o f the P O E A a n d the D O L E , the L a b o r C o d e also spells out p r o v i s i o n s o n overseas e m p l o y m e n t , s p e c i f i c a l l y o n the matters o f r e c r u i t m e n t a n d 43  overseas p l a c e m e n t . F o r e x a m p l e , o n l y private agencies a n d private recruitment entities d u l y 44  licensed b y the P O E A are a l l o w e d to engage i n recruitment and overseas p l a c e m e n t .  45  Stringent  rules are set up w i t h regard to recruitment and placement o f workers: D i r e c t h i r i n g is p r o h i b i t e d  46  ( w i t h exceptions to employers such as d i p l o m a t i c corps a n d international o r g a n i z a t i o n s ) , w h i l e name h i r e s  47  are a l l o w e d . T h e reason for the p r o h i b i t i o n o n direct h i r i n g is that a F i l i p i n o w o r k e r  h i r e d directly b y a foreign employer, without government intervention, is not assured o f the best t e r m s a n d c o n d i t i o n s o f e m p l o y m e n t . I n theory, the P h i l i p p i n e government,  t h r o u g h its  embassies a n d consulates abroad, has up-to-date a n d accurate i n f o r m a t i o n o n c o n d i t i o n s p r e v a i l i n g i n foreign countries. W i t h o u t government intervention, the f o r e i g n e m p l o y e r m a y be entering into  a contract w i t h a F i l i p i n o w o r k e r w h o does not r e a l l y possess the s k i l l s or  Ibid, sec. 3(c): "Protect the rights of Filipino workers for overseas employment to fair and equitable recruitment and employment practices and ensure their welfare;..." 4 3  Article 13, cl.(h) of the Philippine Labor Code does not give a satisfactory definition of'overseas  employment': "Overseas employment means employment of a worker outside the Philippines." Supra, note 20, art. 12. Ibid, Arts. 13(c), (d), (e), (f). Ibid, Art. 18: 'Wo employer may hire a Filipino worker for overseas employment except through the Boards and entities authorized by the Secretary ofLabor." Rules and Regulations Governing Overseas Employment, 1991, Book I, Rule 2, z. "Name hire - a worker who is able to secure employment overseas on his own without the assistance or participation of any agency." 4 4  4 5  4 6  4 7  34  qualifications he or she c l a i m s to have. T h u s , as far as the P h i l i p p i n e g o v e r n m e n t is c o n c e r n e d , migrant w o r k e r s w h o are directly h i r e d acquire u n d o c u m e n t e d status because they d i d not pass t h r o u g h the P O E A i n the f o r m o f name hires, consequently l a c k i n g the proper records c o n c e r n i n g t h e i r overseas e m p l o y m e n t . W o r k e r s w h o s e w o r k a n d travel d o c u m e n t a t i o n are p r o c e s s e d t h r o u g h the l e g a l government channels - be it t h r o u g h accredited private r e c r u i t m e n t agencies or t h r o u g h the P O E A d i r e c t l y - acquire d o c u m e n t e d status. Indeed, the P O E A ' s present duties and functions are extensive a n d p o w e r f u l . H o w e v e r , based o n the w o r d i n g o f the l a w the P O E A considers the p r o m o t i o n o f overseas e m p l o y m e n t its p r i m a r y mandate, w h i l e the p r o t e c t i o n a n d w e l f a r e o f F i l i p i n o w o r k e r s is p e r c e i v e d as a subordinate m a n d a t e .  b.  48  Welfare Funds and Remittance Schemes  T h e remittance scheme is a system where the F i l i p i n o O C W s r e m i t their salary or a p o r t i o n t h e r e o f to their beneficiaries i n the P h i l i p p i n e s a n d converted to P h i l i p p i n e pesos b y the P h i l i p p i n e b a n k i n g system. D u r i n g President M a r c o s ' t e r m , the W e l f a r e a n d T r a i n i n g F u n d f o r Overseas W o r k e r s o f 1977 was f o r m a l i z e d into the W e l f a r e F u n d for Overseas W o r k e r s  4 9  (the  W e l f a r e F u n d ) o f 1980. T h e W e l f a r e F u n d w a s created,  The Statement of Policy of the POEA Rules and Regulations provides that the primary POEA policy is to "[p]romote and develop overseas employment opportunities" and secondarily to "[ a]ffbrdprotection to Filipino workers and their families, promote their interest and safeguard their welfare..."  Philippine Presidential Decree No. 1694 [1980], later amended by Philippine Presidential Decree No. 1809, on January 16, 1981. 4 9  35  ...for the purpose  of providing  social and welfare services to Filipino  overseas  workers, including insurance coverage, legal assistance, placement assistance, and [ E m p h a s i s added]  remittance services.  50  A t that t i m e government realized h o w extensive the labor m i g r a t i o n m o v e m e n t h a d b e c o m e a n d h o w m u c h i n v a l u a b l e f o r e i g n exchange sent h o m e b y the m i g r a n t w o r k e r s c o u l d b e tapped b y the government f i n a n c i a l institutions. T h e W e l f a r e F u n d attempted to persuade m i g r a n t w o r k e r s to use o f f i c i a l government f i n a n c i a l channels to send h o m e their earnings i n exchange for welfare a n d p r o t e c t i o n coverage.  T h e government c o u l d then c o l l e c t f o r e i g n currencies t o bolster its  f o r e i g n exchange reserves.  It seems that the W e l f a r e F u n d p r o g r a m was unsuccessful because i n 1982, P h i l i p p i n e E x e c u t i v e O r d e r N o . 8 5 7 ( E O 857), o r the F o r e x R e m i t t a n c e o f Overseas  Contract Workers, was  p r o m u l g a t e d , establishing a m a n d a t o r y remittance scheme a n d u s i n g m o r e f o r c e f u l p r o v i s i o n s :  SEC.  1. It shall be mandatory for every Filipino  regularly Philippines  a portion  of his foreign  through the Philippine  contract worker abroad to remit  exchange earnings to his beneficiary  in the  banking system. Licensed agencies and other  entities authorized by the Minister of Labor and Employment  to recruit  Filipino  workers for overseas employment are similarly required to remit their  workers'  earnings...  T h e L a b o r Secretary w a s e m p o w e r e d to disapprove r e n e w a l o f a n e m p l o y m e n t contract a n d agency o r service agreement u n t i l p r o o f o f remittance w a s s u b m i t t e d .  51  Contract workers found  v i o l a t i n g the mandatory remittance scheme were suspended or e x c l u d e d f r o m the list o f e l i g i b l e  ™ Ibid, sec. 1. Philippine Executive Order No. 857 [1982], sec. 4. 5 1  36  w o r k e r s for overseas e m p l o y m e n t ,  w h i l e P h i l i p p i n e or f o r e i g n e m p l o y e r s i g n o r i n g the  52  r e m i t t a n c e scheme, f o r e x a m p l e , b y not e s t a b l i s h i n g a p a y r o l l deductions s c h e m e , w e r e 53  e x c l u d e d f r o m the overseas e m p l o y m e n t p r o g r a m .  54  T h e i m p l e m e n t i n g rules e v e n p r o v i d e d  p u n i t i v e measures s u c h as non-issuance or n o n - r e n e w a l o f passports o f the w o r k e r s , a n d n o n issuance o f accreditation to e m p l o y e r s .  55  I n short, E O 857 attempted to rectify the ineffectiveness  o f earlier l a w s to ensure the remittance o f overseas earnings t h r o u g h o f f i c i a l f i n a n c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n s . A g a i n , the p u n i t i v e a p p r o a c h seemed ineffective. I n 1985, P r e s i d e n t M a r c o s p r o m u l g a t e d P h i l i p p i n e E x e c u t i v e Order N o . 1 0 2 1 , this t i m e offering a s y s t e m o f i n c e n t i v e s 56  57  a n d e x p r e s s l y r e p e a l i n g the p u n i t i v e p r o v i s i o n s o f earlier l a w s .  c.  The Overseas Workers' Welfare Administration (the OWWA)  D u r i n g President A q u i n o ' s t e r m i n 1986 to 1992, the W e l f a r e F u n d w a s o n c e m o r e r e o r g a n i z e d i n 1987 t h r o u g h P h i l i p p i n e E x e c u t i v e O r d e r N o . 126 ( E O 126), e s t a b l i s h i n g the O v e r s e a s W o r k e r s ' W e l f a r e A d m i n i s t r a t i o n ( O W W A ) . E O 126 reiterated the objectives o f past legislation: to e s t a b l i s h a remittance scheme to ensure the welfare o f the w o r k e r s ' beneficiaries i n the P h i l i p p i n e s a n d to reduce the f o r e i g n debt burden. A f u n d b o a r d w a s created to encourage migrant w o r k e r s to participate i n o f f i c i a l remittance schemes. I n 1991, the O v e r s e a s Investment  Ibid, sec. 9. Ibid, sec.6. Ibid.  5 2  5 3  5A  5 5  Rules and Regulations Implementing Executive Order No. 857, sec. 1.  The Order was aptly titled "On encouraging remittances of contract workers earnings through official channels". 5 6  5 7  The second whereas clause of Philippine Executive Order No. 1021 reads:  "WHEREAS, government recognizes this contribution of overseas contract workers and should therefore reward them though a package of incentives;..."  37  F u n d A c t was enacted, the o n l y legislation o n migrant workers passed i n Congress between 1987 to 1991. It a i m e d to w e a v e the l i n k s between w o r k e r s ' remittances a n d the r e d u c t i o n o f the country's f o r e i g n debt. S e c t i o n 4 created the Overseas W o r k e r s ' Investment F u n d B o a r d :  There is hereby created the Overseas Workers' Investment Fund Board, which is hereby vested with corporate powers ...to encourage greater remittance of earnings of Filipino workers overseas and to safeguard and oversee the participation  of said  workers' remittances and savings in the Government's debt-reduction efforts and other productive  undertakings.  A c c o r d i n g l y , the p r i m a r y focus o f the Overseas Investment F u n d A c t w a s o n the government's o b l i g a t i o n s o n debt s e r v i c i n g . T h e w o r k e r s ' w e l f a r e w a s m e r e l y a s u b s i d i a r y c o n c e r n . G o v e r n m e n t ' s real interest w a s t o f i n d access to the remittances that pass t h r o u g h the i n f o r m a l c h a n n e l s a n d t o accredit m o n e y couriers a n d i n f o r m a l d e l i v e r y services as o f f i c i a l f o r e i g n exchange remittance venues. O n c e more, incentives were offered to attract c o m p l i a n c e w i t h the scheme. U l t i m a t e l y , the Overseas Investment F u n d A c t a n d E O 126 further strengthened the l e g a l basis for the g o v e r n m e n t to establish a remittance scheme f o r the m i g r a n t w o r k e r s , thus e n a b l i n g i t to operate b o t h o n incentives for the w o r k e r s a n d o n the r e d u c t i o n o f the country's f o r e i g n debt b u r d e n .  In s u m , w h i l e the P O E A is the u m b r e l l a a r m for government a d m i n i s t r a t i o n o f the l a b o r export, it is the O W W A that provides a l i n k between government mechanisms o n welfare a n d protection a n d the w o r k e r s i n the host countries. W o r k e r s m u s t m a k e a c o n t r i b u t i o n t o the O W W A f u n d before they leave the P h i l i p p i n e s . T h e y b e c o m e m e m b e r s o f O W W A a n d are afforded its  .38  protective m e c h a n i s m s . T h e contributions are then used b y O W W A to finance its v a r i o u s programs a n d to enable O W W A W e l f a r e Officers to p e r f o r m their tasks and duties i n the country they are a s s i g n e d to.  T h e a b o v e illustrations are but a part o f the spectrum o f l a b o r l a w s a n d regulations passed f o r the protection o f F i l i p i n o migrant workers. B u t they c o n v e y the P h i l i p p i n e overseas e m p l o y m e n t p r o g r a m as it proceeds f r o m the government's basic a s s u m p t i o n that it has the inherent d u t y o f p r o t e c t i n g its c i t i z e n s , w h e r e v e r they m a y be. N o matter the l o c a t i o n o f F i l i p i n o w o r k e r s , they enjoy the protective mantle o f P h i l i p p i n e labor and social legislation, any contract s t i p u l a t i o n to the contrary n o t w i t h s t a n d i n g . S e v e r a l P h i l i p p i n e S u p r e m e C o u r t r u l i n g s have c l e a r l y i n d i c a t e d that protection o f migrant workers extends to a l l , documented and n o n - d o c u m e n t e d .  58  Moreover,  the P O E A i s n o w c l e a r l y mandated to l e n d its assistance to F i l i p i n o m i g r a n t w o r k e r s not o n l y at the i n i t i a l stages o f recruitment a n d placement but at the later stage o f d e p l o y m e n t as w e l l . E v i d e n t l y , this extraterritorial duty i s a m o n u m e n t a l task for the P h i l i p p i n e g o v e r n m e n t a n d i t w a s expected that c o m p l i c a t i o n s w o u l d arise. F o r one, the government's v a c i l l a t i o n b e t w e e n a p u n i t i v e a n d a n i n c e n t i v e remittance scheme, w i t h the latter p r e v a i l i n g i n the e n d , s h o w s h o w transitory any l a w s , rules a n d regulations are w h e n confronted w i t h the resolute P h i l i p p i n e O C W  For example, the Philippine Supreme Court case of Roval Crown Internationale v. National Labor Relations Commission. 178 SCRA 569 (1989) states this position. Another case, Capricorn International Travel and Tours. Inc. v. Court of Appeals et al. G.R. No. 91096, April 3,1990, expounds on the joint and solidary liability of a private employment agency and its principal. The peculiar nature of overseas employment makes it very difficult for the Filipino overseas worker to effectively go after the foreign employer for employment-related claims. Thus, public policy dictates that, to afford overseas workers protection from unscrupulous employers, the recruitment or placement agency in the Philippines be made to share in the employer's responsibility. 5 8  39  phenomenon. O n the level of international labor standards it can even be argued that the mandatory remittance scheme demands unjustified extraterritorial application o f Philippine municipal laws and violates the freedom of workers to dispose of their wages. The International Labor Convention N o . 95 on the Protection o f Wages contains such protective provisions.  Numerous amendments and legislative changes in over 20 years of labor legislation on migrant workers have each pledged a more effective administrative mechanism and a more rigorous legal framework. One consistent result o f the legislative changes was to create legal uncertainty among the entities affected by the laws. Potential employers, recruitment bodies and the migrant workers constantly needed to keep abreast with the latest changes in the laws. A t the same time, legal loopholes began to surface, tempting and leading employers, workers and recruiters to circumvent government bureaucracy. What this legislative evolvement cannot mask is the reality that the Philippine government did not anticipate the enormous dimensions Filipino labor migration has now assumed. The government's initial outlook was myopic and the early legislation reflected such attitude. Its naive and failed attempts at exercising total control over the labor export shows its insufficiency in preparation and foresight. These inadequate preparations merely produced a lack of trust on the part of the workers in the government machinery. With brittle building blocks as its base, the administrative structure of the Philippine labor export program was thus always at a risk o f collapsing. Ironically, the casualties are the F i l i p i n o migrant workers who are the primary movers in the profit-making system o f labor migration.  40  iii.  The Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995  F r o m 1974 to 1995 o n l y the Overseas Investment F u n d A c t , w a s enacted that deals e x c l u s i v e l y w i t h the issue o f F i l i p i n o labor m i g r a t i o n . H o w e v e r the Overseas Investment F u n d A c t c a n b e c r i t i c i z e d for m e r e l y b e i n g a l e g i s l a t i v e m o u t h p i e c e o f government's relentless d r i v e to secure as m u c h f o r e i g n exchange earnings f r o m the wages o f m i g r a n t w o r k e r s . It t o o k  several  unsuccessful attempts at b a n n i n g overseas deployment o f F i l i p i n o workers, the m u c h p u b l i c i z e d cases o f three female m i g r a n t w o r k e r s , a n d a near collapse o f d i p l o m a t i c ties w i t h S i n g a p o r e 59  for the P h i l i p p i n e C o n g r e s s to enact l e g i s l a t i o n o n F i l i p i n o m i g r a n t w o r k e r s . O n J u n e 7, 1995, the Congress a p p r o v e d the M i g r a n t W o r k e r s A c t . It provides for the m i n i m u m c o n d i t i o n s under w h i c h the d e p l o y m e n t o f F i l i p i n o w o r k e r s overseas is permitted. T h e r e are t w o p i o n e e r p r o v i s i o n s i n the M i g r a n t W o r k e r s A c t . F i r s t , it extends the a p p l i c a t i o n o f the p r o v i s i o n s to d o c u m e n t e d as w e l l as undocumented workers, thus f o l l o w i n g legal precedents handed d o w n b y the P h i l i p p i n e S u p r e m e C o u r t . S e c o n d , the M i g r a n t W o r k e r s A c t m a k e s i l l e g a l r e c r u i t m e n t a c r i m e punishable w i t h life imprisonment. T w o basic conditions must c o n c u r to a l l o w d e p l o y m e n t o f w o r k e r s - the s k i l l and fitness o f the workers and hospitable country destinations. Further, the  The three cases are the conviction of Sarah Balabagan in 1995, then a sixteen-year old domestic worker in the United Arab Emirates, the execution of Flor Contemplacion, a domestic worker in Singapore in 1995, and the death in Japan of a twenty-year old entertainer, Maricris Sioson, whose body was flown back to the Philippines in 1991. Japanese authorities announced that her death was due to hepatitis, but the Philippine National Bureau of Investigation, after conducting its own autopsy, concluded that she had been tortured. This was the first case that elicited wide publicity and prodded some government action: DOLE Circular 01, November 20, 1991, recommended, among others, that only legitimate performers be allowed to leave the country and that they should be at least 23 years old. 41  t e r m "undocumented w o r k e r " , p r e v i o u s l y defined o n l y i n international l a w , is n o w m e n t i o n e d 60  6 1  i n the O m n i b u s R u l e s a n d R e g u l a t i o n s o f the M i g r a n t W o r k e r s A c t . 6 2  T h e M i g r a n t W o r k e r s A c t ' s declaration o f p o l i c i e s are unclear: S e c t i o n 2(c) states that the P h i l i p p i n e s does not promote overseas e m p l o y m e n t as a means t o sustain e c o n o m i c g r o w t h a n d n a t i o n a l d e v e l o p m e n t , a n d recognizes the particular v u l n e r a b i l i t y o f w o m e n m i g r a n t w o r k e r s . H o w e v e r , section 2(1) states that government encourages the deployment o f F i l i p i n o w o r k e r s b y l o c a l service contractors a n d m a n n i n g agencies a n d appropriate i n c e n t i v e s m a y b e extended to t h e m . T h u s , the P h i l i p p i n e government accepts the reality that l a b o r m i g r a t i o n w i l l c o n t i n u e , despite an express contrary declaration o f p o l i c y . T h e M i g r a n t W o r k e r s A c t further declares that o n l y s k i l l e d F i l i p i n o w o r k e r s are to be d e p l o y e d a n d o n l y to countries where the e x i s t i n g labor l a w s g i v e p r o t e c t i o n to the rights o f m i g r a n t w o r k e r s , where the countries are signatories to multilateral conventions o n the protection o f migrant workers, a n d where they have entered i n t o b i l a t e r a l arrangements w i t h the P h i l i p p i n e s o n s u c h matters.  63  Part II defines a n d sets out the  penalties for i l l e g a l recruitment o f F i l i p i n o workers. Part III outlines the g o v e r n m e n t services to assist m i g r a n t w o r k e r s .  Non-documentation is further discussed as one of the peculiar migrant labor problems, at page 53. See the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, [1990], Art.5. See Part II, section 2, Philippine Republic Act No. 8042 [1995]. Ibid, sections 2(c) and 4. 6 1  6 2  6 3  42  It i s still too early to j u d g e the efficiency o f the M i g r a n t W o r k e r s A c t T h e P h i l i p p i n e L e g i s l a t u r e c a n be c o m m e n d e d f o r enacting s u c h l e g i s l a t i o n . O n the other h a n d , past a n d present l a b o r c o n d i t i o n s o f F i l i p i n o m i g r a n t w o r k e r s have l o n g c a l l e d f o r s u c h protective m e c h a n i s m s . It i s argued that the M i g r a n t W o r k e r s A c t must be f o l l o w e d b y p o l i t i c a l d e t e r m i n a t i o n to i m p l e m e n t some o f the favorable provisions. V i e w e d i n its entirety the M i g r a n t W o r k e r s A c t i s a g o o d piece o f l e g i s l a t i o n b u t as w i t h a n y l e g i s l a t i o n , its effectiveness w i l l be j u d g e d , a c c o r d i n g to its i m p l e m e n t i n g success i n the years ahead, particularly o n the p r o v i s i o n s o f welfare a n d protection o f the m i g r a n t w o r k e r s .  2.  Protective Mechanisms  T h e protective m e c h a n i s m s p r o v i d e d b y the P h i l i p p i n e government are m a i n l y a d m i n i s t e r e d b y the D O L E through the agencies o f the P O E A a n d the O W W A , a n d m o r e recently, b y l a b o r a n d d i p l o m a t i c o f f i c i a l s t h r o u g h the P h i l i p p i n e D e p a r t m e n t o f F o r e i g n A f f a i r s (the D F A ) .  T h e P h i l i p p i n e g o v e r n m e n t r e a l i z e d too late that checks a n d balances w e r e needed once i t a l l o w e d the private sector to participate i n the recruitment mechanisms o f migrant w o r k e r s . T h i s b e c a m e the real reason b e h i n d the creation o f the P O E A . T h e P O E A has since created a n elaborate l i c e n s i n g s y s t e m f o r recruitment agencies to be q u a l i f i e d to process w o r k e r s f o r overseas e m p l o y m e n t . It has also established a n u m b e r o f institutions geared t o w a r d s the p r o t e c t i o n a n d welfare o f F i l i p i n o m i g r a n t w o r k e r s . T w o o f the m o r e s i g n i f i c a n t p r o g r a m s are the M e d i c a r e a n d Insurance P o l i c y programs where m e d i c a l assistance, h o s p i t a l i z a t i o n benefits 43  a n d l i f e insurance coverage are offered to the w o r k e r s as w e l l as their i m m e d i a t e f a m i l y a n d dependents.  L i k e w i s e , O W W A w e l f a r e p r o g r a m s seek to p r o v i d e services o v e r a n d a b o v e those benefits stipulated i n e m p l o y m e n t contracts o f F i l i p i n o m i g r a n t w o r k e r s . T h e p r o g r a m s c a n be d i v i d e d i n five major categories: e c o n o m i c welfare, security a n d protection, socio-cultural d e v e l o p m e n t , s k i l l s a n d career development, and general assistance. These p r o g r a m s are i m p l e m e n t e d i n t w o w a y s : either i n terms o f on-site assistance for distressed migrant w o r k e r s w h o are i n need o f legal and welfare protection, or i n terms o f re-integration p r o g r a m s for r e t u r n i n g m i g r a n t w o r k e r s so that their s k i l l s m a y be a p p l i e d to e c o n o m i c a l l y b e n e f i c i a l use. T w o o f the m o r e i m p o r t a n t O W W A programs are the repatriation b o n d p r o g r a m , w h i c h offers assistance to F i l i p i n o w o r k e r s i n w a r - t o r n areas a n d other emergency situations, a n d the entrepreneurship d e v e l o p m e n t p r o g r a m , w h i c h provides opportunities for returning migrant w o r k e r s to put u p s m a l l to m e d i u m size business enterprises. T h e O W W A funds w h i c h are m a i n t a i n e d t h r o u g h c o n t r i b u t i o n s f r o m the e m p l o y e r s a n d the w o r k e r s are often u s e d for the repatriation o f distressed w o r k e r s . T h i s b e c a m e p a r t i c u l a r l y relevant d u r i n g the G u l f C r i s i s that l e d to the Desert S t o r m operations i n 1990. M a n y F i l i p i n o migrant w o r k e r s were trapped i n areas directly affected b y the G u l f C r i s i s : K u w a i t , Iran, Iraq a n d S a u d i A r a b i a . T h e P h i l i p p i n e government learned its lesson f r o m the G u l f C r i s i s a n d r e a l i z e d h o w important it is to p r o v i d e its m i g r a n t w o r k e r s w i t h safe houses. T h e O W W A has since then established regional offices i n the P h i l i p p i n e s to b e c o m e m o r e accessible i n the rural areas a n d opened welfare centers i n countries w i t h a h i g h c o n c e n t r a t i o n o f F i l i p i n o  44  workers.  64  T h e welfare centers are a d m i n i s t e r e d b y O W W A w e l f a r e officers w h o offer v a r i o u s  k i n d s o f assistance to the w o r k e r s ; a m o n g others, c r i s i s management, c o u n s e l i n g , c o n c i l i a t i o n , t e m p o r a r y shelter a n d repatriation. T h e O W W A has recently created s p e c i f i c projects i n the P h i l i p p i n e s that are sensitive to the w o m e n m i g r a n t w o r k e r s . T h e y i n c l u d e a peer c o u n s e l i n g project, a non-governmental organization ( N G O ) women's desk a n d the strengthening o f the p o o l o f f e m a l e overseas l a b o r o f f i c e r s .  65  I n 1986, T h e Secretary o f F o r e i g n A f f a i r s issued a n u m b e r o f F o r e i g n S e r v i c e C i r c u l a r s w h i c h directed f o r e i g n service p e r s o n n e l to take measures c o n c e r n i n g F i l i p i n o w o r k e r s overseas w h o encounter v a r i o u s p r o b l e m s i n the host country. T h e circulars also i n c l u d e d duties to v i s i t the w o r k e r s i n their w o r k sites a n d to ensure that the female m i g r a n t w o r k e r s are protected f r o m e x p l o i t a t i o n . T h e D F A , together w i t h the P h i l i p p i n e C e n t r a l B a n k , i s p r i m a r i l y c h a r g e d w i t h m o n i t o r i n g a n d r e g u l a t i n g the f l o w o f remittances a n d taxes f r o m F i l i p i n o m i g r a n t w o r k e r s . O r i g i n a l l y , the D F A ' s functions w e r e p u r e l y p o l i t i c a l a n d catered to t r a d i t i o n a l d i p l o m a t i c a n d c o n s u l a r p r o g r a m s . T h e n e w agenda that focuses o n n a t i o n a l e c o n o m i c objectives created a n u m b e r o f p r o b l e m s i n the D F A that u n t i l n o w , r e m a i n apparent. F o r e x a m p l e , w h i l e the P O E A has o r i g i n a l a n d e x c l u s i v e j u r i s d i c t i o n over cases i n v o l v i n g F i l i p i n o m i g r a n t w o r k e r s , it i s the D F A that i s tasked w i t h the administration o f the cases i n the host countries. H o w e v e r , the D F A  As of 1991, there were welfare centers in the following cities: Singapore, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Riyadh, Jeddah, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, Tripoli, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Madrid, Rome, Milan and Athens. Vivian F. Tornea, "The Government Welfare Program For Women Overseas Contract Workers", OCWs in Crisis: Protecting Filipino Migrant Workers, Ateneo Human Rights Center, Makati, Philippines, 1995, at 27. 6 5  45  personnel overseas c a n rarely afford to e m p l o y a legal staff or hire a l o c a l l a w y e r to handle legal matters.  In line w i t h the L a b o r C o d e , the D O L E has created the L a b o r Attache p r o g r a m . P h i l i p p i n e labor attaches h a v e b e e n d e p l o y e d since 1977, apart f r o m the O W W A W e l f a r e O f f i c e r s w h o are u s u a l l y d e p l o y e d o n l y i n host countries where v u l n e r a b i l i t y o f the F i l i p i n o m i g r a n t w o r k e r s i s a particular concern. T h e functions o f the L a b o r attaches i n the assigned j u r i s d i c t i o n i s to assist w i t h deployment, market development, m o n i t o r i n g o f workers and the remittances, enforcement o f the government m e c h a n i s m s and p o l i c i e s , legal a n d welfare assistance, a n d the c o l l e c t i o n o f taxes.  66  I n 1977, the P h i l i p p i n e government assigned 14 labor attaches around the w o r l d ; i n 1995  there were a total o f 150 P h i l i p p i n e labor attaches.  67  Y e t despite the increased n u m b e r s , F i l i p i n o  m i g r a n t w o r k e r s often choose not to seek redress w i t h the P h i l i p p i n e consulates o r embassies because they believe that the p o l i t i c a l and d i p l o m a t i c stature o f the P h i l i p p i n e government i n the host countries i s m i n i m a l . T h e w o r k e r s ' fear i s that assistance f r o m the P h i l i p p i n e g o v e r n m e n t w i l l o n l y l e a d to t e r m i n a t i o n o f e m p l o y m e n t or e v e n deportation.  F i n a l l y , Part III o f the M i g r a n t W o r k e r s A c t also p r o v i d e s f o r welfare  a n d protective  m e c h a n i s m s . It establishes government services t o assist m i g r a n t w o r k e r s , i n c l u d i n g a n E m e r g e n c y R e p a t r i a t i o n F u n d ; a R e - p l a c e m e n t a n d M o n i t o r i n g C e n t e r w i t h the f u n c t i o n o f  'Supra, note 24, at 42. ' Supra, note 21, at 16.  46  reintegrating returning F i l i p i n o s into the e c o n o m y ; a M i g r a n t W o r k e r s a n d O t h e r O v e r s e a s F i l i p i n o s R e s o u r c e Center, a n d a Shared G o v e r n m e n t I n f o r m a t i o n S y s t e m f o r M i g r a t i o n . Part V creates a p o s i t i o n w i t h i n the Department o f F o r e i g n A f f a i r s f o r a L e g a l A s s i s t a n t f o r M i g r a n t W o r k e r s a n d establishes a L e g a l A s s i s t a n c e F u n d , b o t h w i t h the purpose o f r e n d e r i n g a i d to F i l i p i n o s i n distress abroad.  D.  Regulations and Problems of Labor Exportation  1.  Regulations  T o appreciate the various p r o b l e m s that arise i n the process f r o m F i l i p i n o labor m i g r a t i o n i s to understand the regulations i n place. T h e p r o b l e m s became m o r e c o n s p i c u o u s w i t h the r a p i d e x p a n s i o n o f the l a b o r export p r o g r a m that i s n o w largely i n the hands o f private recruitment m e c h a n i s m s . I n theory, the P O E A ensures that o n l y legitimate a n d c r e d i b l e private recruitment agencies c a n process F i l i p i n o w o r k e r s . A p p l i c a t i o n s f o r a n d r e n e w a l o f licenses to operate as a recruitment agency are strictly m o n i t o r e d . ocular i n s p e c t i o n b y the P O E A .  6 9  68  T h e recruitment agencies are also subject to regular  M o r e importantly, the P O E A ensures that o n l y the proper fees  are d e d u c t e d b y the agencies f r o m the e m p l o y e r a n d the w o r k e r ,  70  a n d that the p r i n c i p a l s (the  foreign employers o r agencies) o f the P h i l i p p i n e recruitment agencies are p r o p e r l y a c c r e d i t e d .  71  Rules and Regulations Governing Overseas Employment, 1991, Book II, Rule II: Issuance of License. Ibid, Book II, Rule IV: Inspection of Agencies. Ibid, Book II, Rule V: Placement Fees and Documentation Costs. Ibid, Book III, Rule I: Accreditation of Principals and Projects. 47  T h e agencies m u s t also s u b m i t d o c u m e n t a r y p r o o f c o n s i s t i n g o f a detailed list o f i n f o r m a t i o n about the m i g r a t i n g w o r k e r s before the agencies are a l l o w e d to d e p l o y the w o r k e r s out o f the Philippines.  72  T h e P h i l i p p i n e government's most important f o r m o f r e g u l a t i o n o f its m i g r a n t w o r k e r s i s the remittance scheme. T h e present scheme n o t o n l y p r o v i d e s the O W W A w i t h f u n d i n g f o r its various welfare programs, i t i s also a n important source for h e l p i n g the P h i l i p p i n e g o v e r n m e n t i n its balance o f p a y m e n t s deficit. T h e total remittance brought h o m e b y the m i g r a n t w o r k e r s f r o m 1977 t o 1995 i s p e g g e d at U S $ 2 8 . 2 b i l l i o n . w o r k e r s a m o u n t e d to U S $ 7 . 5 b i l l i o n ,  7 4  7 3  I n 1996 alone, remittances f r o m m i g r a n t  a n d it i s s a i d that the 1996 remittances o f f o r e i g n  exchange amounted to three times more than the $2.5 b i l l i o n expected f r o m international donors in 1997.  75  T h e m a n y changes government has i n t r o d u c e d i n the l a w s o n m a n d a t o r y remittances  s h o w h o w v i t a l this scheme i s . Y e t , i t is a n u n r e l i a b l e p r o g r a m because o f d i f f i c u l t i e s i n enforcement. T h e e x p a n d i n g administrative bureaucracy i s one o f m a n y factors c o n t r i b u t i n g to the c o m p l i c a t i o n . A d d i t i o n a l l y , the m i g r a n t w o r k e r s have d e v i s e d m a n y i n g e n i o u s w a y s o f remitting their i n c o m e s to the P h i l i p p i n e s w i t h o u t u s i n g the o f f i c i a l g o v e r n m e n t channels. Part o f the reluctance o f the migrant workers to use f o r m a l b a n k i n g channels for their remittances i s their inefficiency. A n o t h e r deterrent is the h i g h percentage o f the salary the w o r k e r s are o b l i g e d  Ibid, Book III, Rule II: Documentary Processing. IMF Balance of Payments Statistic http://migration.ucdavis.edu/Data/remit.on.www/philippines.html. 7 3  7 4  Yearbook  Annual,  website:  "OCW Remittances Hit Record 7.5 B", Philippine Star, January 9, 1997.  48  to r e m i t . F o r e x a m p l e , seamen o r mariners w e r e r e q u i r e d to r e m i t 80 per cent o f their salary; w o r k e r s o f F i l i p i n o contractors and construction companies 70 per cent, a n d d o m e s t i c a n d other service w o r k e r s 5 0 p e r c e n t .  76  T h u s , the actual amount o f remittances that f l o w i n t o the  P h i l i p p i n e s are speculative estimates because o f the v i e w that o f f i c i a l f i n a n c i a l m e c h a n i s m s o n l y capture a fragment o f t h e m .  Studies suggest that the P h i l i p p i n e g o v e r n m e n t continues to hope that remittance f l o w s w o u l d translate i n t o increased investment. B u t this has been c u r t a i l e d b y the v e r y l o w p r o p e n s i t y o f remittance recipients and returning F i l i p i n o migrant w o r k e r s to undertake productive investment a n d b y the d i v e r s i o n o f remittances f r o m f o r m a l b a n k i n g channels into i n f o r m a l channels. R e m i t t a n c e r e c e i v i n g households i n the P h i l i p p i n e s t y p i c a l l y spend the m o n e y o n basic necessities, r e p a y m e n t o f debts, house b u i l d i n g o r i m p r o v e m e n t a n d e d u c a t i o n a l expenditure. T h u s , p r i o r i t y is a c c o r d e d to c o n s u m p t i o n needs, w h i l e the n u m b e r o f i n v e s t m e n t i n i t i a t i v e s remains relatively l o w . Nevertheless, the social benefits o f the remittance payments to r e c e i v i n g  families are evident. "The impacts are visibly seen in real assets accumulated, small businesses acquired and social status achieved'?  1  W h i l e the debate o n the real e c o n o m i c i m p a c t f o r the  m i g r a n t w o r k e r s a n d the remittance r e c e i v i n g h o u s e h o l d s continues, it i s i n d i s p u t a b l y a c k n o w l e d g e d that remittances have helped the P h i l i p p i n e g o v e r n m e n t i n s u s t a i n i n g its f o r e i g n d o l l a r reserves a n d i n its debt s e r v i c i n g .  Rules and Regulations Governing Overseas Employment, 1991, Book VIII, Rule VIII, section 3. Supra, note 33, at 270.  49  2.  Problems  T h e P h i l i p p i n e government has been unable to curb the negative effects o f the l a b o r export p h e n o m e n o n . C o u n t l e s s measures have been i n i t i a t e d - selective d e p l o y m e n t to host countries a c c o r d i n g to p r o t e c t i o n g i v e n to f o r e i g n w o r k e r s ; market or s k i l l s restrictions a n d d e p l o y m e n t bans, depending o n the l a b o r market a n d the peace a n d order situation o f the host c o u n t r y ; a n d w a t c h l i s t i n g a n d b l a c k l i s t i n g o f f o r e i g n p r i n c i p a l s or e m p l o y e r s w h o have defaulted o n their obligations and/or have v i o l a t e d rules a n d r e g u l a t i o n s .  78  C o n s e q u e n t l y , the g o v e r n m e n t tries to  l i m i t , a n d at t i m e s b a n , the exodus o f its w o r k e r s w h e n stories o f e x p l o i t a t i o n , abuse a n d deception such as contract s w i t c h i n g reach the P h i l i p p i n e s . W h e n cases o f arbitrary e m p l o y m e n t dismissals are reported, pre-deployment seminars and courses are set up to facilitate the o u t g o i n g w o r k e r s i n their adjustment to a n d s u r v i v a l i n a c u l t u r a l l y different country. B u t m o s t o f these curative measures have little impact o n the adverse effects o f labor exportation. T h e bureaucracy is too l i m i t e d to deal w i t h the multifarious issues that s u r r o u n d the w o r k e r s ' s i t u a t i o n o n c e they are abroad. I n the 1990s, w h e n m o r e female workers left the P h i l i p p i n e s i n search o f better w o r k o p p o r t u n i t i e s , n a t i o n a l attention b e g a n to focus o n the experiences o f these w o m e n w h o s e extremely vulnerable occupations i n the service a n d entertainment sector p r o v i d e d fertile g r o u n d f o r abuse a n d e x p l o i t a t i o n . T h e types a n d degrees o f p r o b l e m s i n l a b o r m i g r a t i o n f r o m the P h i l i p p i n e s v a r y depending o n the host country. T h e f o l l o w i n g e n u m e r a t i o n represents s o m e o f the m o r e current p r o b l e m s s u r r o u n d i n g the P h i l i p p i n e labor m i g r a t i o n .  Jose Brillantes, "The Philippine Overseas Employment Program and Its Effects on Immigration to Canada", in The Silent Debate: Asian Immigration and Racism in Canada, eds. Eleanor Laquian, et al., Institute  of Asian Research, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C., 1997, at 140. 50  1.  Illegal Recruitment  G i v e n the uncontrollable pattern o f P h i l i p p i n e overseas e m p l o y m e n t and the p a r t i c i p a t i o n o f the profit-oriented private sector, i l l e g a l recruitment was b o u n d to take place. W h i l e recruitment for overseas e m p l o y m e n t is not i n itself u n l a w f u l , it is the lack o f the necessary license or p e r m i t b y the recruiter that renders the recruitment i l l e g a l . T h e L a b o r C o d e defines i t as f o l l o w s :  Any recruitment activities . . . to be undertaken by non-licensees or non-holders authority shall be deemed illegal and punished. Employment  of  . . The Department of Labor and  or any law enforcement agency may initiate complaints  under this  Article.  19  I d e a l l y , the P O E A exercises f u l l c o n t r o l o v e r the a d m i n i s t r a t i o n o f the d e p l o y m e n t o f m i g r a n t workers. E v e r y potential m i g r a n t w o r k e r i s recruited b y an entity w h i c h m u s t b e d u l y l i c e n s e d or a u t h o r i z e d b y the P O E A . H o w e v e r , i l l e g a l recruitment persists despite the existence o f the a b o v e p r o v i s i o n a n d the threat o f life i m p r i s o n m e n t as a penalty i n the M i g r a n t W o r k e r s A c t  8 0  because o f the large n u m b e r o f w i l l i n g migrants, the p o o r budget o f the P O E A , i t s s l o w a n d i n c r e a s i n g l y corrupt bureaucratic procedures i n p r o c e s s i n g d e p l o y m e n t o f w o r k e r s , a n d the f i n a n c i a l leverage o f private recruiters.  T h e deceptions e m p l o y e d b y u n s c r u p u l o u s i l l e g a l  recruiters are diverse. T h e y range f r o m fake passports, c o e r c i o n o f w o r k e r s to accept p r e j u d i c i a l arrangements i n exchange o f certain benefits, non-existent e m p l o y e r s abroad, a n d t o outright fraudulent practices against the unsuspecting workers. F o r F i l i p i n a s , i l l e g a l recruitment u s u a l l y  Supra, note 43, art 38(a). Art. 7(b), Philippine Republic Act No. 8042 [1995]. The Migrant Workers Act punishes illegal recruitment with the penalty of life imprisonment if committed by a group of three or more persons conspiring together or confederating with one another. Illegal recruitment committed by not more than two persons is punishable by six to twelve years of imprisonment (Arts. 6[m], 7[a]). 7 9  8 0  51  takes the f o r m o f travel o n tourist or student visas. T h e F i l i p i n a s often e n d up as entertainers or prostitutes, f o r c e d i n t o the trade i n order to p a y o f f their t r a v e l expenses. S o m e w o m e n are p r o m i s e d g o o d e m p l o y m e n t contracts w i t h kind-hearted employers o n l y to f i n d out that they are at the complete m e r c y o f a n abusive e m p l o y e r w h o disregards the e m p l o y m e n t contract. A n o t h e r w i d e s p r e a d i l l e g a l recruitment activity is the exaction o f exorbitant placement fees f r o m w o u l d be m i g r a n t w o r k e r s . T h e L a b o r C o d e lists the act o f c o l l e c t i n g p l a c e m e n t fees b e y o n d w h a t is l e g a l l y a l l o w e d as a f o r m o f i l l e g a l recruitment. S t i l l , l i m i t s o n p l a c e m e n t fees are c o n t i n u a l l y v i o l a t e d . T h e P O E A has set the c e i l i n g o f placement fees at P H P 5 , 0 0 0 . B u t w o u l d - b e m i g r a n t w o r k e r s r o u t i n e l y have to g i v e between P H P 1 8 , 0 0 0 to P H P 4 5 , 0 0 0 a n d e v e n u p to P H P 7 5 , 0 0 0 i n the case o f T a i w a n , a l l for the p r o m i s e b y the recruiter to "speed u p the process  of  deployment".  I n 1992, the P O E A created the p r e - e m p l o y m e n t orientation s e m i n a r to s u p p l e m e n t its predeparture orientation seminars. T h e n e w seminars are c o n d u c t e d i n the rural areas a n d lectures are g i v e n o n the dangers o f i l l e g a l recruitment and other possible pre-employment irregularities. T h e L a b o r C o d e is v e r y s p e c i f i c about the d e f i n i t i o n o f i l l e g a l r e c r u i t m e n t  81  a n d the M i g r a n t  W o r k e r s A c t is e x p l i c i t as to its penalty o f life imprisonment. B u t the P h i l i p p i n e government has yet to c o m p l e t e l y c o n t r o l a n d eradicate this a n o m a l y . It is the root o f other p r o b l e m s , s u c h as n o n - d o c u m e n t a t i o n a n d n o n - p r o t e c t i o n o f the w o r k e r s .  Ibid, Art. 34. 52  2. Non-Documentation It has been established that migration from the Philippines occurs i n three different streams: 1) permanent migrants, 2) documented migrant workers (or recorded, or official or legal migrant workers), and 3) undocumented migrant workers (or unrecorded, unofficial or illegal migrant workers).  82  Essentially, non-documented migrant workers are those without P O E A approved  status and who leave the Philippines without having a record i n the P O E A registers. There are many ways i n which non-documentation occurs. The most common method among Filipino workers, particularly women, is to travel to neighboring A s i a n countries as tourists to look for employment without, of course, informing the Embassy or the Consulate o f the Philippines. This scheme is particularly easy to do i n member-countries o f the Association o f South East A s i a n Nations ( A S E A N ) where travel without a visa for 14 days as a tourist is allowed. Other common methods of non-documentation are visa overstay and illegal recruitment that amounts to contract substitution. It is a matter o f state sovereignty and protection that a country is legally and morally obliged to assist its citizens i f i n distress in a foreign country. This state obligation becomes a heavy burden in the case o f the Philippines which must try to help many o f its citizens abroad. Philippine consulates and embassies are routinely equipped with a shoestring budget and with understaffed or underqualified diplomatic personnel. The P O E A has set up mechanisms to document every outward bound Filipino worker so that it has the capacity to assist and protect the worker abroad: One is the required surrender o f the overseas employment certificate before leaving the Philippines; the second is the information sheet o f migrant workers; and the third is  Dr. Rashid Amjad, "Philippines and Indonesia: On the Way to a Migration Transition", Asian and Pacific Migration Journal, vol.5, nos. 2-3, 1996, at 348. 8 2  53  the e m b a r k a t i o n a n d disembarkation f o r m filled out at the airport. N e w airport f o r m s h a v e b e e n p r i n t e d that requires F i l i p i n o travelers to identify themselves workers.  8 3  as m i g r a n t o r n o n - m i g r a n t  A n o t h e r requirement i s the p u t t i n g u p o f a pre-departure b o n d a n d the remittances.  T h e amounts s h o u l d give the P O E A funds to operate the protective m e c h a n i s m s . B u t since m a n y w o r k e r s c h o o s e the u n d o c u m e n t e d route the P h i l i p p i n e embassies are often c o m p e l l e d to g i v e p r e f e r e n t i a l treatment to a d o c u m e n t e d w o r k e r w h o has p a i d her o r h i s b o n d a n d remittances. M o s t o f the t i m e , the u n d o c u m e n t e d w o r k e r s seeking h e l p f r o m embassy o f f i c i a l s are t h e n left w i t h o u t recourse.  It is a traumatic experience f o r the countless n u m b e r s o f u n d o c u m e n t e d F i l i p i n o w o r k e r s to be stranded a n d helpless i n a f o r e i g n country. I n reality, the n o n - d o c u m e n t e d status i s frequently not a free c h o i c e . F a c e d w i t h either a l o n g w a i t i n g p e r i o d f o r a P O E A a p p r o v a l o r a q u i c k p r o m i s e o f e m p l o y m e n t f r o m a d u b i o u s recruiter, the w o r k e r s often take the latter chance, n o t l o o k i n g b e y o n d the mere w o r d s o f guarantee b y the recruiter. O n c e a F i l i p i n o m i g r a n t w o r k e r is i n the host country w i t h a n undocumented status, he or she is left to fend for h i m s e l f or herself. T h e P h i l i p p i n e government has tried to respond b y i s s u i n g a D O L E D e p a r t m e n t O r d e r  84  that i s  geared towards protection o f the F i l i p i n a m i g r a n t w o r k e r s w i t h a c o m p r e h e n s i v e pre-departure p r o g r a m o n h o u s e h o l d w o r k . T h e p r o v i s i o n s o f the order w e r e later s u p p l e m e n t e d w i t h P O E A g u i d e l i n e s to p r o p e r l y i m p l e m e n t t h e m .  Graziano Batistella, "Data on International Migration from the Philippines", Asian and Pacific Migration Journal, vol. 4, no. 4, 1995, at 592. 8 4  Department Order No. 13, February 5, 1994. 54  T h e M i g r a n t W o r k e r s A c t also attempts to address this p r o b l e m a n d g i v e s the f o l l o w i n g definition o f non-documentation:  (e) Documented Migrant Workers those who possess valid passports and visas or permits to stay in the host country and whose contracts of employment have been processed by the POEA if required by law or regulation; or those registered by the Migrant-Workers Center or by the Embassy.  and Other Overseas Filipinos  Resource  Those who do notfall under the preceding paragraph are considered undocumented migrant workers. (f) Undocumented Filipinos Those who acquired their passports through fraud or misrepresentation; Those who possess expired visas or permits to stay; Those who have no travel document whatsoever; and Those who have valid but inappropriate  visas;..}  5  O n the other h a n d , the C o n v e n t i o n o n M i g r a n t W o r k e r s p r o v i d e s f o r the f o l l o w i n g d e f i n i t i o n .  ...[MJigrant  workers and members of their families:  Are considered as documented or in a regular situation if they are authorized to enter, to stay and to engage in a remunerated activity in the State of employment pursuant to the law of that State and to international agreements to which the State is a party;  Part II, section 2, Omnibus Rules and Regulations Implementing the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of1995.  55  Are considered as non-documented or in an irregular situation if they do not comply with the conditions provided for in subparagraph (a) of the present article. 86  T h u s , the international p r o v i s i o n focuses o n the legal status o f m i g r a n t w o r k e r s i n the host countries. T h e P h i l i p p i n e p r o v i s i o n , however, requires the concurrence o f regular l e g a l status i n the P h i l i p p i n e s as w e l l as i n the host country i n order to be c l a s s i f i e d b y the P h i l i p p i n e g o v e r n m e n t as a d o c u m e n t e d m i g r a n t w o r k e r . T h e second subparagraph o f s e c t i o n 2(e) c o n t e m p l a t e s a s i t u a t i o n where a n o n - d o c u m e n t e d w o r k e r registers h i m s e l f o r h e r s e l f i n the M i g r a n t W o r k e r s or P h i l i p p i n e R e s o u r c e C e n t e r located i n the host c o u n t r y to a c q u i r e d o c u m e n t e d status. I n other w o r d s , this section a l l o w s for n o n - d o c u m e n t e d m i g r a n t w o r k e r s to r e c t i f y their n o n - d o c u m e n t e d status after departure f r o m the P h i l i p p i n e s . M o r e i m p o r t a n t l y , it enables the P h i l i p p i n e government to update the records o f o u t g o i n g F i l i p i n o c i t i z e n s w h o left the P h i l i p p i n e s other than as d o c u m e n t e d m i g r a n t w o r k e r s . A l t h o u g h c r i t i c s are q u i c k to p o i n t out that this post-departure registration a l l o w s the P h i l i p p i n e g o v e r n m e n t to e x p a n d its l i s t o f m i g r a n t w o r k e r s f o r the e x c l u s i v e purpose o f r e q u i r i n g t h e m to r e m i t t h r o u g h g o v e r n m e n t f i n a n c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n s , the scheme m a y u l t i m a t e l y be f o r the benefit o f the n e w l y d o c u m e n t e d workers. They become  members  o f the O W W A a n d enjoy  its w e l f a r e  a n d protective  m e c h a n i s m s , h o w e v e r d i s m a l a n d l i m i t e d i n results they m a y be.  E v e n m o r e i n t r i g u i n g is the d e f i n i t i o n o f non-documentation i n the P h i l i p p i n e p r o v i s i o n . It lists four instances o f non-documented status, the fourth o f w h i c h is the most notable one: "those who  'Supra, note 61, art. 5.  Sl  56  have valid but inappropriate  visas". T h i s means, f o r e x a m p l e , that a F i l i p i n a w h o travels as a  tourist to Singapore o n a 14-day v i s a a n d subsequently finds e m p l o y m e n t there i s one w h o has a v a l i d but inappropriate v i s a . H e r tourist v i s a i s inappropriate because she i s n o w f o r a l l intents and purposes a f o r e i g n w o r k e r i n S i n g a p o r e , n o longer a tourist. W h i l e the first three instances o f n o n - d o c u m e n t a t i o n are straightforward, this last instance m a y b e the m o s t c o n s p i c u o u s evidence that P h i l i p p i n e legislation o n m i g r a n t w o r k e r s is not o n l y p r o t e c t i o n - o r i e n t e d but also post-facto  o r curative i n a p p l i c a t i o n . L e g i s l a t o r s are supposed t o enact l a w s that reflect the  o n g o i n g changes o f a state. B u t they are also expected to have the insight to enact legal measures that prevent o r stop negative results. T h e fourth e n u m e r a t i o n o f n o n - d o c u m e n t a t i o n i n the M i g r a n t W o r k e r s A c t i s o n e s u c h negative situation that e l u d e d the l a w m a k e r s . T h u s , the enumeration o f non-documentation is the P h i l i p p i n e government's attempt at p r o v i d i n g a r e m e d y to the u n c o n t r o l l a b l e i l l s o f n o n - d o c u m e n t e d m i g r a n t w o r k e r s . W h a t further c o m p l i c a t e s the p r o b l e m o f n o n - d o c u m e n t a t i o n i s the interaction o f the sovereignty o f t w o countries - the P h i l i p p i n e s as the sending country and the host o r r e c e i v i n g country. I n the absence o f b i l a t e r a l or d i p l o m a t i c agreements between the P h i l i p p i n e s a n d a host c o u n t r y i t m a y h a p p e n that e v e n w h e n the P h i l i p p i n e s considers a m i g r a n t w o r k e r as n o n - d o c u m e n t e d the same w o r k e r c a n acquire d o c u m e n t e d status f r o m the p o i n t o f v i e w o f the host country. C o n t i n u i n g the p r e v i o u s scenario o f the F i l i p i n a i n S i n g a p o r e , as s o o n as she l a n d e d h e r j o b i n S i n g a p o r e she a u t o m a t i c a l l y b e c a m e a d o c u m e n t e d f o r e i g n w o r k e r i n Singapore. T h e P h i l i p p i n e g o v e r n m e n t cannot n o w i n f o r m Singapore officials that she is not documented for P h i l i p p i n e purposes. T h i s l e g a l l o o p h o l e arises f r o m c o n f l i c t s o f l a w ; P h i l i p p i n e l o c a l l a w s versus S i n g a p o r e l a b o r l a w s ,  57  i f at a l l a p p l i c a b l e to f o r e i g n w o r k e r s , a n d the F i l i p i n a as the subject caught i n the d i l e m m a o f h a v i n g to f o l l o w m o r e than o n e country's l a w s .  3. A  Exploitation and De-Feminization burst o f o p t i m i s m a c c o m p a n i e d the first w a v e o f F i l i p i n a m i g r a n t w o r k e r s . T h e p i o n e e r  F i l i p i n a m i g r a n t s w e r e v i e w e d as representing a leap from the t r a d i t i o n a l role o f F i l i p i n a s as homemakers. T h i s m i g r a t i o n undergoing a 'feminization' represents a n instance o f the d i s r u p t i o n o f cultural n o r m s i n the P h i l i p p i n e s , brought about b y e c o n o m i c w o e s and the o p e n gates to labor m i g r a t i o n . I n m a n y instances a reversal o f roles occurred where the w o m a n became the d o m i n a n t or sole breadwinner i n the f a m i l y . B u t the j u b i l a t i o n w a s q u i c k l y o v e r s h a d o w e d b y the tales o f h o r r o r f r o m r e t u r n i n g F i l i p i n a m i g r a n t w o r k e r s . A l s o , the trend o f ' f e m i n i z a t i o n ' o f m i g r a t i o n f r o m the P h i l i p p i n e s occurs not o n l y i n the area o f temporary m i g r a n t w o r k e r s , b u t also i n the case o f F i l i p i n a s m i g r a t i n g as spouses o f f o r e i g n m e n , m o r e often t h r o u g h i n t e r m e d i a r y ' m a i l order' b r i d e agencies. I n m o s t o f the host countries, F i l i p i n a m i g r a n t w o r k e r s are faced w i t h different c u l t u r a l n o r m s that either s h u n the c o n d i t i o n s o f f o r e i g n w o r k e r s o r s i m p l y have d e v e l o p e d little o r n o gender-sensitive standards. T h e i r w o r k i n g conditions as domestic w o r k e r s and entertainers are i n isolated and m a r g i n a l i z e d settings where c o m p l i a n c e w i t h their rights b y the e m p l o y e r is difficult to m o n i t o r . T h i s m a k e s F i l i p i n a m i g r a n t w o r k e r s m o r e v u l n e r a b l e a n d m o r e p r o n e to abuse b y their e m p l o y e r . B u t the e x p l o i t a t i o n a n d d e - f e m i n i z a t i o n o f F i l i p i n a m i g r a n t w o r k e r s are n o t so m u c h the v i s i b l e aspects s u c h as l a b o r e x p l o i t a t i o n , p h y s i c a l a n d s e x u a l abuse o r e v e n forced p r o s t i t u t i o n , a l t h o u g h these situations certainly i n exist i n m a n y  58  c o u n t r i e s , p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the M i d d l e East, where the p r i m a c y o f h u m a n rights i s n o t g i v e n e m p h a s i s . T h e m o r e a n o m a l o u s k i n d s take the f o r m o f i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d d i s c r i m i n a t i o n a n d e x p l o i t a t i o n . T h e r e are also m a n y i m p e r c e p t i b l e instances o f e x p l o i t a t i o n w h i c h p l a y w i t h variations o f objectifying female migrant workers. F o r example, it is c o m m o n place i n Singapore for placement agencies to advertise foreign migrant workers a k i n to c o m m o d i t i e s .  87  F u r t h e r , the  e m p l o y m e n t standards o f Singapore require pregnancy tests o f the female migrant w o r k e r s every s i x months, w h i l e marriages between Singaporeans and foreign domestic w o r k e r s are p r o h i b i t e d . I n H o n g K o n g , one c a n f i n d signs posted i n apartment b u i l d i n g s s a y i n g "Filipinas  must not use  the swimming pool" a n d "dogs and Filipinas must use the service elevator", thus g i v i n g domestic w o r k e r s outsider social status w h i l e g i v i n g t h e m insider status o n l y as to h o u s e h o l d a n d childcare duties. B u t despite such mistreatments the m i g r a t i o n to host countries l i k e S i n g a p o r e a n d H o n g K o n g continues. F i r s t - t i m e F i l i p i n a m i g r a n t w o r k e r s cross their fingers a n d hope to b e c o m e a success story l i k e the ones s p u n b y their recruiter. Indeed, success stories exist i n every host c o u n t r y , m o s t l i k e l y o u t n u m b e r i n g the tales o f abuse a n d e x p l o i t a t i o n . A l s o , the lure o f the higher wages is often too strong to resist, especially i f the host country is o n l y a f e w hours a w a y b y plane. F i n a l l y , the l a c k o f concrete e m p l o y m e n t opportunities, e c o n o m i c a n d s o c i a l c h o i c e s i n the P h i l i p p i n e s m a k e s overseas m i g r a n t w o r k seem capable o f setting o f f any t e m p o r a r y h a r d s h i p overseas.  Some Singapore placement agencies that specialize in Filipina domestic workers offer a full refund if the new employer is dissatisfied with the services of the worker, thus ascribing to the women the same "return policy" commonly only found in appliances. 59  In c o n c l u s i o n , it c a n be s a i d that a m a j o r i t y o f the p r o b l e m s o f l a b o r m i g r a t i o n f r o m the P h i l i p p i n e s c a n be traced b a c k to a shortsighted attitude o f the P h i l i p p i n e g o v e r n m e n t i n the 1970s w h e n l a b o r export a n d the O C W p h e n o m e n o n first f l o u r i s h e d . T h e g o v e r n m e n t refused to realize early o n that the m i g r a t i o n m o v e m e n t is r e a l l y about the exodus o f w o r k e r s f r o m the P h i l i p p i n e s , about h u m a n beings i n search for a better life. T h e P h i l i p p i n e government's m y o p i c o u t l o o k m e r e l y enabled it to encourage a system that facilitated the d e p l o y m e n t o f w o r k e r s . B u t even l a w f u l d e p l o y m e n t o f F i l i p i n o workers became i n c r e a s i n g l y d i f f i c u l t . P r i v a t e r e c r u i t m e n t m e c h a n i s m s m u s h r o o m e d and t o o k advantage o f the d e m a n d for overseas w o r k as g o v e r n m e n t y i e l d e d to the strong d e m a n d for overseas d e p l o y m e n t . T h e p r i v a t e sector r e s c u e d  the  government under the weight o f labor recruitment, particularly the early d e m a n d for w o r k i n the M i d d l e East. T h e P h i l i p p i n e government c o u l d have p l a n n e d ahead a n d s h o u l d have r e a l i z e d that this p r o s p e r i n g export scheme was u n i q u e because the c o m m o d i t y were h u m a n beings. B u t at a l l t i m e s the h u m a n factor w a s not taken into consideration. E v e n w h e n cracks i n the labor export administration began to appear the government's p r i o r i t y was the establishment a n d enforcement o f the remittance scheme. T h i s is one area where the legislators were p r o l i f i c i n e n a c t i n g up-todate l e g i s l a t i o n .  T h e legislative developments o n the F i l i p i n o migrant w o r k e r situation is the other d i s h e a r t e n i n g p e r f o r m a n c e o f the P h i l i p p i n e government. F i r s t , w h i l e the p i o n e e r l a w s o n m i g r a n t w o r k e r s s e e m e d acceptable l e g i s l a t i o n , subsequent a n d r a p i d developments i n the l a b o r m i g r a t i o n m o v e m e n t left the legislators out o f t o u c h w i t h current labor a n d s o c i a l c o n d i t i o n s . T h o u g h the  60  m i g r a n t w o r k e r s became important assets i n terms o f the remittance o f f o r e i g n exchange, the l a w m a k e r s u s u a l l y were u n s y m p a t h e t i c to their predicament, except d u r i n g e l e c t i o n p e r i o d s w h e n sloganeering a n d rhetoric about the "concerns for the heroic OCWs" a l w a y s reached their peak. T h e y w e r e m o s t l y e m p t y p r o m i s e s as p o l i t i c i a n s k n o w that the m i g r a n t w o r k e r s cannot exercise their right to suffrage. There i s n o m e c h a n i s m i n place that a l l o w s m i g r a n t w o r k e r s t o v o t e f r o m their host countries. T h u s , l e g i s l a t i o n o n m i g r a n t w o r k e r s m e r e l y b e c a m e d e l a y e d legislative reactions to the latest controversies. Despite government efforts to appear r e s p o n s i v e to the w o r k e r s ' needs their actions betrayed their reactive results.  H o w e v e r , s o m e o f the efforts o f government s h o u l d be appreciated, p a r t i c u l a r l y the w e l f a r e m e c h a n i s m s it has set i n place. E v e n i f the m o r e drastic measures that have b e e n i m p l e m e n t e d u s u a l l y t o o k place "after the fact", the altruistic intentions o f the g o v e r n m e n t are apparent. F o r e x a m p l e , some periods o f total or partial overseas d e p l o y m e n t b a n have t a k e n p l a c e e v e n i f the situation q u i c k l y reverted b a c k to the status quo. It i s not d i f f i c u l t to understand w h y :  . . . it is quite clear that since the roots of the problem lies in the host countries, women workers continue to face considerable hardship and physical, sexual and otherforms of exploitation. It is rightly feared, however, that an outright ban on their emigration  may in fact worsen rather than improve the situation, by driving such  emigration  underground and exposing such women migrants whose status would  now be of illegal migrants to even greater exploitation, especially by well organized underground  syndicates.  u  In terms of the labor market impact, it would increase pressure on the domestic labor market and make it extremely difficult to even achieve the modest targets of a decline in unemployment  8 8  . . . eventually, remittances would decline and this would put  Supra, note 82, at 359. 61  pressure on the balance of payments situation and could slow down the process of economic recovery...  Perhaps the most unfavorable impact such a policy may have  is in the fight against poverty, as remittances have the potential  of playing  important pat in boosting incomes and generating jobs in the domestic  an  economy}  9  T h e P h i l i p p i n e s has consistently h a d p r o b l e m s i n e n f o r c i n g a n d i m p l e m e n t i n g its l a b o r export p o l i c i e s b o t h l o c a l l y a n d overseas. It does not h e l p that the stringent safeguards o f the p o l i c i e s t e n d t o frustrate the e m p l o y m e n t agencies, recruiters as w e l l as the m i g r a n t w o r k e r s a n d lure t h e m t o process the w o r k e r s t h r o u g h u n d e r g r o u n d means. H o w e v e r , it m u s t b e n o t e d that the e x i s t i n g welfare a n d protection m e c h a n i s m s i n the P h i l i p p i n e s ' labor export p o l i c i e s s t e m f r o m a p u b l i c d e m a n d and the clamors o f advocates for migrant w o r k e r s ' rights for m o r e g o v e r n m e n t i n v o l v e m e n t . A s discussed, this turns into a v i c i o u s c y c l e because m a n y m i g r a n t w o r k e r s d i s r e g a r d g o v e r n m e n t p o l i c i e s a n d choose the faster but i l l e g a l route, thereby d e p r i v i n g the P h i l i p p i n e g o v e r n m e n t o f substantial f i n a n c i a l resources t o f u n d welfare a n d p r o t e c t i o n programs. A t the same t i m e , m a n y m i g r a n t w o r k e r s overseas often have n o recourse other t h a n to seek h e l p f r o m the P h i l i p p i n e embassy/consulate.  T h e corresponding development o f  d o c u m e n t e d a n d u n d o c u m e n t e d w o r k e r s has also b r e d internal prejudice i n embassies against u n d o c u m e n t e d w o r k e r s - w h y h e l p t h e m i f they d o not contribute t o the welfare funds? T h i s double standard is n o w o f f i c i a l l y e l i m i n a t e d w i t h the M i g r a n t W o r k e r s A c t w h i c h mandates t o h e l p m i g r a n t w o r k e r s overseas i n distress - whether o r not d o c u m e n t e d . W h e t h e r o r not the mandate c a n be a c t u a l i z e d i s another matter.  Ibid, at 360. 62  C r i t i c s contend that what the P h i l i p p i n e s needs is not protection-oriented a n d curative l e g i s l a t i o n but preventive l a w s c o u p l e d w i t h a strong p o l i t i c a l w i l l to d e m a n d b i l a t e r a l arrangements o r at least better w o r k i n g c o n d i t i o n s for F i l i p i n o m i g r a n t w o r k e r s f r o m the host countries. B u t the P h i l i p p i n e s ' c o n t i n u e d reliance o n its m i g r a n t w o r k e r s ' remittances effectively i n h i b i t s the g o v e r n m e n t f r o m m a k i n g f o r m a l protests about mistreatment o f their w o r k e r s . F u r t h e r , the P h i l i p p i n e g o v e r n m e n t s t i l l l a c k s the international stature that the n e w A s i a n tiger e c o n o m i e s have earned. W i t h o u t this respect, the P h i l i p p i n e s cannot expect concessions from a host country.  T h e f o l l o w i n g chapters describe h o w C a n a d a fares as a host country to F i l i p i n a migrant w o r k e r s i n v i e w o f Canada's i m m i g r a t i o n a n d labor p o l i c i e s . C h a p t e r III outlines the C a n a d i a n L C P i n the context o f m i g r a n t F i l i p i n a s a n d p r o v i d e s a c r i t i c a l analysis o f the L C P . C h a p t e r I V c o n c l u d e s the d i s c u s s i o n w i t h a n integration o f Canada's f o r e i g n w o r k e r p o l i c i e s a n d the P h i l i p p i n e s ' labor export p r o g r a m .  63  III.  FILIPINA LIVE-CAREGIVERS IN BRITISH COLUMBIA AND T H E CANADIAN FOREIGN WORKER AND MIGRATION POLICIES  C a n a d a has l o n g been v i e w e d b y F i l i p i n a d o m e s t i c w o r k e r s as a d r e a m destination. Indeed, F i l i p i n a s w h o w a n t to w o r k abroad or are currently w o r k i n g , as d o m e s t i c w o r k e r s outside the Philippines perceive  C a n a d a f a v o r a b l y as o p p o s e d to the t r a d i t i o n a l d o m e s t i c  workers'  destination s u c h as the K i n g d o m o f S a u d i A r a b i a , Singapore a n d H o n g K o n g . T h e s e countries are s w a m p e d w i t h F i l i p i n a d o m e s t i c w o r k e r s a n d are w e l l - k n o w n f o r their h a r s h w o r k i n g c o n d i t i o n s . C a n a d a , o n the other h a n d , p r o v i d e s the p r o m i s e o f a free a n d d e m o c r a t i c society. It is a n affluent, high-tech industrial society, w i t h a market-oriented e c o n o m i c s y s t e m . It enjoys a h i g h l y a d v a n c e d l e g i s l a t i o n o n a n d p r o t e c t i o n o f c i v i l liberties, i n c l u d i n g issues o n gender equality.  It is also a g o o d e x a m p l e o f a n i m m i g r a n t country t o w a r d w h i c h m i g r a n t s l i k e the  F i l i p i n o s are d r a w n to.  H o w e v e r , the d i s c u s s i o n i n this chapter s h o w s that w h i l e C a n a d a offers the best w o r k i n g c o n d i t i o n s to f o r e i g n d o m e s t i c w o r k e r s , it continues the d i s c r i m i n a t o r y treatment o f f o r e i g n d o m e s t i c w o r k e r s that other host countries are b e i n g accused of.  64  A.  A Profile of Filipina Live-In Caregivers in British Columbia  In 1967 C a n a d a i n t r o d u c e d the p o i n t s y s t e m  90  i n its i m m i g r a t i o n p r o g r a m w h i c h f a c i l i t a t e d the  entry o f F i l i p i n o s into C a n a d a . C o m p a r e d to other ethnic groups, F i l i p i n o m i g r a t i o n to C a n a d a is a f a i r l y recent d e v e l o p m e n t . H o w e v e r , since the 1970s the P h i l i p p i n e s has been c i t e d as one o f the t o p ten source countries o f i m m i g r a n t s . i m m i g r a n t s i n its p o p u l a t i o n c o u n t .  92  91  I n 1996, C a n a d a c o u n t e d 2 4 2 , 8 8 0 F i l i p i n o  Statistics also s h o w that a m a j o r i t y o f e l i g i b l e F i l i p i n o  i m m i g r a n t s elect C a n a d i a n c i t i z e n s h i p . A s o f 1991, 87 per cent o f F i l i p i n o i m m i g r a n t s b e c a m e Canadian citizens.  93  A n o t h e r characteristic o f F i l i p i n o migrants i n C a n a d a i s the gender ratio  where w o m e n constantly outnumber the m e n i n entries, thus apparently c h a l l e n g i n g the n o t i o n o f the " p i o n e e r i n g m a l e " .  94  I n fact, the i m m i g r a t i o n trend o f F i l i p i n a s is c o n s i d e r e d u n i q u e ,  ...as their high proportion in service occupation is related almost entirely to entry in the domestic helper class. On average, out of a total number of6,000females, there were 2,700 who worked in Canada as domestic workers on a temporary visa. 95  Statistics f r o m I m m i g r a t i o n a n d C i t i z e n s h i p C a n a d a point out the large gap i n 1991 e m p l o y m e n t rates a m o n g F i l i p i n a i m m i g r a n t s (80 per cent) a n d a l l i m m i g r a n t w o m e n (62 per cent) a n d C a n a d i a n - b o r n w o m e n (63 per c e n t ) ,  96  suggesting that the h i g h rate o f F i l i p i n a s e m p l o y e d as  Essentially, the point system provides applicants points based on their social and demographic profile, including factors such as education, experience and vocational preparation. 9 1  Anita Chen. Studies on Filipinos in Canada: State of the Art., Vol. 22, Canadian Ethnic Studies, January  1, 1990, at 83. Top 25 Ethnic Origins in Canada, Showing Single and Multiple Responses, 1996 Census (20 per cent sample data), Statistics Canada. A Profile of Immigrants from the Philippines in Canada. Publications. Citizenship and Immigration Canada. 9 2  9 3  9 4  Supra, note 91.  9 5  Margaret Michalowski. A Contribution of the Asian Female Immigrants into the Canadian Population,  Asian and Pacific Migration Journal, vol. 5, No. 1, 1996, at 78. 9 6  Supra, note 93.  65  L I C s h e l p e d increase the total n u m b e r o f e m p l o y e d F i l i p i n a s . F i n a l l y , w h i l e F i l i p i n o i m m i g r a n t s have l o w u n e m p l o y m e n t rates and are more l i k e l y to have a university degree, their i n c o m e s fall b e l o w the average i n c o m e o f other i m m i g r a n t g r o u p s .  97  Just l i k e m i g r a t i o n f r o m the P h i l i p p i n e s , the m i g r a t i o n o f F i l i p i n o s to C a n a d a is characterized b y specific waves. T h e first w a v e o f F i l i p i n o m i g r a t i o n to C a n a d a i n 1967 c a n be considered the p r o f e s s i o n a l g r o u p because o f the specific j o b s k i l l s i n d e m a n d at that t i m e . T h e s e c o n d w a v e became the non-professional group i n the m i d 1970s, consisting o f f a m i l y - s p o n s o r e d parents and c h i l d r e n o f F i l i p i n o pioneers i n C a n a d a .  T h e last w a v e is the group o f d o m e s t i c w o r k e r s a n d other n o n - p r o f e s s i o n a l groups. T h i s t h i r d m i g r a t i o n w a v e o f F i l i p i n o s to C a n a d a w o u l d h a r d l y o c c u r i f there w a s n o d e m a n d for their labor. I n 1991, 58 per cent o f C a n a d i a n females were part o f the l a b o r force w h i c h h e l p e d i n c r e a s e i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d daycare facilities for c h i l d r e n o f two-earner f a m i l i e s . T h i s c h a n g i n g C a n a d i a n w o r k p l a c e where m o r e w o m e n started to participate a n d the l i m i t e d c h i l d care s y s t e m f u e l l e d a d e m a n d f o r f o r e i g n l i v e - i n d o m e s t i c w o r k e r s as l i v e - o u t nannies. D a y care centers b e c a m e e x p e n s i v e alternatives. It is i n this b a c k d r o p that the F i l i p i n a d o m e s t i c w o r k e r tries to f i n d her place i n the C a n a d i a n w o r k f o r c e a n d i n C a n a d i a n society.  9 1  Ibid.  66  It i s d i f f i c u l t to create a n accurate picture o f F i l i p i n a s c o m i n g to C a n a d a as L I C s . B a s e d o n C a n a d a I m m i g r a t i o n statistics, some 1,820 domestic workers came to w o r k i n B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a b e t w e e n 1995 a n d 1 9 9 6 . under the L C P . Vancouver.  1 0 0  9 9  98  B e t w e e n 1994 to 1996, a n estimated 12,980 p e o p l e entered C a n a d a  I n the same p e r i o d , about 2,285 o f the estimated 12,980 L I C s w o r k e d i n  Further, the P h i l i p p i n e s r a n k e d i n the top f i v e f o r the same p e r i o d as a source  country for V a n c o u v e r ' s i m m i g r a n t c o m m u n i t y .  101  H o w e v e r , n o data exists o n the total n u m b e r  o f d o m e s t i c w o r k e r s currently e m p l o y e d i n B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a o r i n C a n a d a .  1 0 2  Nonetheless,  studies have indicated that F i l i p i n a m i g r a n t w o r k e r s w o r k i n g as a L I C s are m o r e l i k e l y to have left a f a m i l y o r relatives i n the P h i l i p p i n e s since i m p r o v i n g the e c o n o m i c base o f the f a m i l y i s the m o s t c o m m o n reason f o r F i l i p i n a s to choose the route o f m i g r a t i o n f r o m the P h i l i p p i n e s . S u c h i s the case e v e n i f that means w o r k i n g as d o m e s t i c w o r k e r s after h a v i n g o b t a i n e d a u n i v e r s i t y degree. T h e s o c i a l i m p a c t o f f a m i l y fragmentation r e s u l t i n g f r o m the w o m a n ' s o r mother's l a b o r m i g r a t i o n has not yet been systematically studied i n the P h i l i p p i n e s b u t i t promises to be a s i g n i f i c a n t aspect o f the m i g r a t i o n p h e n o m e n o n . T h e t o p i c i s also b e y o n d the s c o p e o f t h i s thesis, b u t literature indicates that the separation o f f a m i l y m e m b e r s has caused p r o b l e m s to F i l i p i n a L I C s i n C a n a d a .  103  Jeanne Mikita, B.C. Domestic Workers Survey. Summary Report. Economic Equality for Domestic Workers Project. December 1997, at 8. Immigration by Levels Component. Facts and Figures 1996. Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Vancouver Profile. Facts and Figures 1996. Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Vancouver Top Ten Source Countries. Facts and Figures 1996. Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Statistics from Citizenship and Immigration classify live-in-caregivers under "other category" together with retirees and the deferred removal order class. "Canada Beckons Cream of Nannies", The [Canada] Globe and Mail, January 20, 1996. The newspaper article exposes the havoc caused by family fragmentation as a result of migration. 9 9  1 0 0  1 0 1  1 0 2  1 0 3  67  B.  Instruments of Regulation and Protection  I n 1 9 7 1 , federal government p o l i c y enunciated "the A c t for the P r e s e r v a t i o n a n d E n h a n c e m e n t o f M u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m i n C a n a d a " , n o w k n o w n as the C a n a d i a n M u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m A c t . It was meant to accommodate a g r o w i n g m u l t i - e t h n i c c o m p o s i t i o n o f C a n a d i a n society w h i c h w a s the result o f the i m m i g r a t i o n p o i n t s y s t e m that i n t r o d u c e d m o r e u n i v e r s a l i s t i c c r i t e r i a a n d created a shift f r o m p r e d o m i n a n t l y w h i t e a n d W e s t e r n E u r o p e a n i m m i g r a n t s to a m u l t i c u l t u r a l b l e n d .  H i s t o r i c a l l y , the i m m i g r a t i o n p o l i c i e s o f C a n a d a h a d been shaped i n response to its s p e c i f i c needs f o r p o p u l a t i o n g r o w t h a n d e c o n o m i c development. T h a t meant, p r i o r to 1962, a n u m b e r o f r a c i a l l y - o r i e n t e d p o l i c i e s that p r e v a i l e d u n t i l the p o i n t s y s t e m i n 1 9 6 7 i n t r o d u c e d n o n d i s c r i m i n a t o r y i m m i g r a t i o n mechanisms. I n 1973, Canada's F o r e i g n W o r k e r P r o g r a m , adhered to the " C a n a d i a n s first" approach. U n d e r the F o r e i g n W o r k e r P r o g r a m a f o r e i g n w o r k e r c o u l d not b e e m p l o y e d i n C a n a d a w i t h o u t a n e m p l o y m e n t a u t h o r i z a t i o n , a n d the v i s a officer h a d to ensure that i n the o p i n i o n o f the l o c a l e m p l o y m e n t center the e m p l o y e r o f the f o r e i g n w o r k e r m a d e efforts to hire o r t r a i n a C a n a d i a n c i t i z e n o r permanent resident. I n 1973 t o o , the E m p l o y m e n t A u t h o r i z a t i o n P r o g r a m w a s i n t r o d u c e d i n C a n a d a . T h e p r o g r a m granted p e r m i t s for t e m p o r a r y entry to f o r e i g n w o r k e r s w h o s e s k i l l s w e r e i n d e m a n d . T h e p e r m i t s g i v e n to w o r k e r s were j o b a n d e m p l o y e r specific a n d extension o r renewal depended o n the i m m i g r a t i o n officer. I n 1976, these regulations were replaced w i t h the I m m i g r a t i o n A c t w h i c h t o o k effect i n 1978. T h e I m m i g r a t i o n A c t s p e l l e d out i n detail its objectives a n d set o u t the authorities f o r e s t a b l i s h i n g i m m i g r a t i o n levels a n d f o r m a n a g i n g i m m i g r a t i o n f l o w s . T o a large extent, the I m m i g r a t i o n A c t established principles o f n o n - d i s c r i m i n a t i o n a n d u n i v e r s a l i t y f o r a d m i s s i o n to 68  C a n a d a o f n o n - C a n a d i a n citizens. H o w e v e r , the I m m i g r a t i o n A c t a n d its R e g u l a t i o n s also c o n t i n u e d the past unjust a n d biased p o l i c i e s c o n c e r n i n g the a d m i s s i o n o f f o r e i g n d o m e s t i c w o r k e r s into C a n a d a . P a r t i c u l a r l y , the F o r e i g n D o m e s t i c M o v e m e n t P r o g r a m o f 1981 (the F D M P r o g r a m ) a n d its successor L C P became instruments that responded to Canada's e c o n o m i c needs w i t h o u t t h o r o u g h l y considering their immediate a n d l o n g - t e r m i m p a c t o n the f o r e i g n d o m e s t i c w o r k e r s w h o g a i n e d entry to C a n a d a t h r o u g h the s a i d programs.  1.  Canada's Foreign Worker Policies: Caribbean Domestic Scheme to the Live-In Caregiver Program  T h e L C P i s n o t the first l a w o n f o r e i g n d o m e s t i c w o r k e r s . C a n a d a has a l o n g h i s t o r y o f l e g i s l a t i o n a i m e d at f a c i l i t a t i n g the entry o f the f o r e i g n d o m e s t i c w o r k e r s to C a n a d a . I n i t i a l l y , d o m e s t i c w o r k e r s i n the early years o f the twentieth century c a m e f r o m E u r o p e . T h e presence o f f o r e i g n d o m e s t i c w o r k e r s i n C a n a d a began w i t h B l a c k C a r i b b e a n w o m e n i n the p o s t - w a r p e r i o d . T h e p r o g r a m w a s c a l l e d the C a r i b b e a n D o m e s t i c S c h e m e . T h e S e c o n d C a r i b b e a n D o m e s t i c Scheme i n 1955 l i m i t e d the number o f b l a c k w o m e n but admitted t h e m as i m m i g r a n t s . T h i s w a s i n effect a b i l a t e r a l agreement between C a n a d a a n d the governments o f J a m a i c a a n d B a r b a d o s to i m p o r t C a r i b b e a n domestics into C a n a d a . O n l y s i n g l e a n d healthy w o m e n w i t h i n a certain age group were e l i g i b l e for r e c r u i t m e n t .  104  T h e y were even tested for venereal d i s e a s e .  105  T h i s scheme continued u n t i l C a n a d a changed its i m m i g r a t i o n rules w i t h the i n t r o d u c t i o n o f the  Nona Grandea, Uneven Gains. Filipina Domestic Workers in Canada. The North-South Institute, the Philippines-Canada Human Resource Development Program, 1996, at 19.  69  p o i n t system i n 1 9 6 7 .  106  E v e n t u a l l y , the C a n a d i a n i m m i g r a t i o n authorities d e v i s e d a s y s t e m o f  t e m p o r a r y w o r k visas f o r d o m e s t i c w o r k e r s .  107  U n d e r that scheme, d o m e s t i c w o r k e r s c o u l d  r e m a i n i n C a n a d a f o r as l o n g as they continue w o r k i n g as such. It w a s i n the 1970s that the p r e d i c a m e n t o f the p r e d o m i n a n t l y female d o m e s t i c w o r k e r s attracted p u b l i c attention. T h e w i d e l y p u b l i c i z e d case o f the "Seven Jamaican w o m e n "  1 0 8  i n 1977 served as a m a j o r catalyst i n  p u s h i n g for reforms o n i m m i g r a t i o n procedures affecting foreign domestic workers. Further, the T a s k F o r c e C o m m i t t e e o n E m p l o y m e n t A u t h o r i z a t i o n c o n d u c t e d a study o f d o m e s t i c w o r k e r s under temporary visas. T h e study isolated t w o areas o f c o n c e r n : the d i s m a l w o r k i n g c o n d i t i o n s a n d the i n a b i l i t y to a p p l y for permanent residence.  T h u s , i n 1981 the F D M P r o g r a m w a s b o r n a n d t r a n s f o r m e d Canada's m i g r a n t w o r k e r p r o g r a m o f 1973 to 1981 into a n i m m i g r a n t p r o g r a m . W h i l e it w a s w i t h i n the d i s c r e t i o n o f C a n a d i a n i m m i g r a t i o n authorities to renew a foreign domestic worker's e m p l o y m e n t a u t h o r i z a t i o n d u r i n g the F o r e i g n W o r k e r P r o g r a m , under the F D M P r o g r a m f o r e i g n d o m e s t i c w o r k e r s w e r e n o w expressly granted the chance to apply for permanent residence. H o w e v e r , w i t h this c a m e a n e w mandatory restriction: A p p l i c a t i o n for permanent residence was possible o n l y after t w o years o f l i v e - i n w o r k w i t h i n the first three years f r o m entry i n C a n a d a . A t about the same t i m e C a n a d a experienced a n increase i n entries o f F i l i p i n a domestic workers, w h i l e the arrival o f b l a c k w o m e n  Information on the Caribbean Domestic Scheme gathered from Agnes Castille, "Canada's Immigration Policy and Domestics from the Caribbean: The Second Domestic Scheme", Race, Class, Gender: Bonds and Barriers (Toronto and Montreal: Between the Lines and the Society for Socialist Studies, 1987) at 137, 142 - 146. The Temporary Employment Authorization Program, SOR/73 - 20. This is the case of Lodge et al. v. Minister of Employment and Immigration. (1979) 1 F.C. 775, where seven Jamaican women faced deportation proceedings on the ground that they had failed to disclose that they had dependent children under the age of 18. 1 0 6  1 0 7  1 0 8  70  f r o m the C a r i b b e a n and f r o m J a m a i c a began to decline. S i n c e 1985, F i l i p i n a d o m e s t i c w o r k e r s have consistently outnumbered the i n f l u x o f other female foreign workers into C a n a d a . A s early as 1 9 9 0 , a total o f 10,946 F i l i p i n a d o m e s t i c w o r k e r s entered under the F D M P r o g r a m , accounting for 60.2 per cent o f the total entry o f f o r e i g n d o m e s t i c w o r k e r s for that y e a r .  109  The  F D M P r o g r a m contained various onerous criteria. A s i d e f r o m the requirement o f c o m p l e t i o n o f t w o years o f l i v e - i n service, there is upgrading o f s k i l l s to expedite integration i n the labor force, c o m m i t m e n t to volunteer w o r k to demonstrate s o c i a l adaptation, competent a d m i n i s t r a t i o n o f finances i n c l u d i n g the a b i l i t y to support dependents, a n d language p r o f i c i e n c y .  O n January 3 0 , 1992, the M i n i s t e r o f E m p l o y m e n t a n d I m m i g r a t i o n i m p o s e d a m o r a t o r i u m o n the a r r i v a l o f foreign domestic workers into Canada. Three months later the F D M P r o g r a m w a s r e p l a c e d w i t h the L C P o n A p r i l 2 7 , 1992. T h e p o l i c y intent o f the L C P w a s : ...to meet a labour market shortage of live-in caregivers in Canada, while an avenue for  these individuals  residence from within  to work and eventually apply for  providing permanent  Canada.  110  I n i t i a l l y , a n applicant under the L C P had to s h o w c o m p l e t i o n o f an equivalent o f C a n a d i a n grade n i n e i n a d d i t i o n to s i x m o n t h s o f f u l l t i m e f o r m a l t r a i n i n g related to the duties o f a c a r e g i v i n g p o s i t i o n . T h i s n e w requirement resulted i n a drastic drop i n the n u m b e r o f F i l i p i n a applicants: 7,835 people came to C a n a d a i n 1991 under the subsisting F D M P r o g r a m , 5,323 o f w h i c h w e r e  Canada Employment and Immigration Commission (Policy Branch), Entrants to the FDM program by country oforigin —1990 (Ottawa: Canada Employment and Immigration Commission, 9 April 1991) [unpublished], as cited in Audrey Macklin, Foreign Domestic Worker: Surrogate Housewife or Mail Order Servant?, McGill Law Journal, vol. 37, no. 3, 1992, at 693. Immigration Canada. Chapter OP (Overseas Processing) 13. Processing Live-in Caregivers. 06 - 96. 1 1 0  71  f r o m the P h i l i p p i n e s , 2 0 8 f r o m J a m a i c a a n d 4 7 7 f r o m B r i t a i n . P r i o r to the t e r m i n a t i o n o f the F D M P r o g r a m i n 1992, 2,406 F i l i p i n a s entered C a n a d a . W h e n the L C P w a s i n effect, o n l y 43 F i l i p i n a s c a m e to C a n a d a . O n that account, i m m i g r a t i o n procedures changed once m o r e o n M a r c h 16, 1994. T o d a y , e l i g i b i l i t y under the L C P i n c l u d e s :  a) successful completion of a course of study equivalent to Canadian  secondary  education; and b) six months training or twelve months experience related to the job in question....  111  [ E m p h a s i s added]  T h u s , since M a r c h 1994, the requirements o f job-related t r a i n i n g a n d p r e v i o u s j o b - r e l a t e d e x p e r i e n c e are i n the alternative, m a k i n g the L C P appear m o r e r e l a x e d and f l e x i b l e c o m p a r e d to the p r e c e d i n g F D M P r o g r a m . H o w e v e r , the education requirement w a s raised f r o m a grade 9 to a grade 12 C a n a d i a n equivalent education. T h i s is the equivalent o f a second-year c o l l e g e or u n i v e r s i t y e d u c a t i o n i n the P h i l i p p i n e s . M o r e i m p o r t a n t l y , t w o s i g n i f i c a n t elements o f the F D M P r o g r a m were retained: the temporary status o f the domestic workers for at least t w o years before  a p p l i c a t i o n f o r permanent residence  is permitted, a n d the l i v e - i n  requirement.  Nevertheless, the number o f F i l i p i n a s entering C a n a d a under the L C P rose. I n 1993, there were 379 F i l i p i n a L I C s ; i n 1994 there were 941 F i l i p i n a entrants and 1,392 F i l i p i n a L I C s i n 1 9 9 5 .  112  A p u b l i c a t i o n o f the federal Department o f C i t i z e n s h i p and I m m i g r a t i o n C a n a d a e n t i t l e d " T h e L i v e - I n C a r e g i v e r P r o g r a m ~ Information for employers and l i v e - i n caregivers f r o m a b r o a d "  111  1 1 2  1 1 3  1 1 3  Ibid, at 4. Supra, note 104, at 20.  I M - 198-03 -94. 72  (the B o o k l e t ) outlines the specific steps that potential e m p l o y e r s  114  o f F i l i p i n a L I C s have to carry  out. It i s meant to assist potential e m p l o y e r s a n d future o r n e w l y a r r i v e d L I C s i n their w o r k r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h o n e another. T h e requirements f o r L I C s i s categorized i n t w o sections: 1) e l i g i b i l i t y for a p p l i c a t i o n as a L I C under the L C P and 2) requirements for permanent residence. T h e I m m i g r a t i o n M a n u a l for the Processing o f L i v e - I n C a r e g i v e r s  115  (the M a n u a l ) , o n the other  h a n d , i s a g u i d e f o r v i s a officers abroad w h o process a p p l i c a t i o n s under the L C P a n d f o r i m m i g r a t i o n officers r e v i e w i n g the L I C s ' a p p l i c a t i o n f o r permanent residence i n C a n a d a . N o t w i t h s t a n d i n g the e x i s t i n g literature about the L C P . the f o l l o w i n g p r o c e d u r a l s u m m a r y a n d d i s c u s s i o n o f Canada's labor and i m m i g r a t i o n p o l i c i e s w i l l s h o w h o w irregular m a n y aspects o f the L C P requirements r e m a i n .  T y p i c a l l y , p o t e n t i a l e m p l o y e r s contact the l o c a l H u m a n R e s o u r c e C e n t r e (the H R C ) , f o r m e r l y the C a n a d a E m p l o y m e n t C e n t r e , to h e l p t h e m locate a L I C f r o m abroad. A c c o r d i n g to present statistics a n d e m p l o y e r s ' preferences, the future L I C is often a F i l i p i n a f r o m the P h i l i p p i n e s o r from a host country o f domestic w o r k e r s s u c h as S i n g a p o r e , H o n g K o n g o r T a i w a n w h o wants to w o r k i n C a n a d a as a L I C .  1 1 6  Since the premise o f the government for the existence o f the L C P  is that there i s n o shortage o f l i v e - o u t caregivers i n C a n a d a , the B o o k l e t encourages p o t e n t i a l employers to consider h i r i n g a l i v e - o u t caregiver before d e c i d i n g to hire a L I C . O n l y w h e n the p o t e n t i a l e m p l o y e r s seek to hire a L I C w i l l the H R C extend its assistance. T h e p o t e n t i a l  Throughout this chapter the thesis uses the example of spouses-employers, although LICs are often also employed by unmarried couples or by a single employer. Supra, note 111. For convenience, the thesis uses the example of a Filipina from the Philippines for purposes of illustrating the steps involved in hiring a Filipina as a live-in caregiver in Canada. 1 1 4  115  1 1 6  73  e m p l o y e r s m u s t i d e n t i f y a n i n d i v i d u a l suitable to their needs u s i n g their o w n m e t h o d s a n d resources,  i n c l u d i n g advertisements, p e r s o n a l contacts or h i r i n g agencies.  The potential  employers must then submit their offer o f e m p l o y m e n t to the H R C a n d declare that the w a g e s , benefits a n d w o r k i n g c o n d i t i o n s r e q u i r e d b y the respective p r o v i n c e c a n be m e t b y t h e m . T h e H R C where the employers sent the offer o f e m p l o y m e n t transmits the same to the v i s a office i n M a n i l a . I n r e a l i t y t h o u g h , f e w F i l i p i n a s a p p l y f r o m M a n i l a since the w a i t i n g p e r i o d f o r v i s a a p p l i c a t i o n s to C a n a d a is shorter i n H o n g K o n g or Singapore. It has b e c o m e a n established practice for F i l i p i n a domestic w o r k e r s to use those A s i a n countries as a s p r i n g b o a r d to m i g r a t e to C a n a d a as L I C s . T h i s strategy o f first w o r k i n g as a d o m e s t i c w o r k e r i n the u s u a l A s i a n host countries f o r a n u m b e r o f years also satisfies the requirement that the a p p l i c a n t m u s t have h a d p r e v i o u s j o b - r e l a t e d experience or t r a i n i n g .  A s p r e v i o u s l y m e n t i o n e d , the L C P contains t w o alternative requirements, either s i x m o n t h s training or t w e l v e months experience. T h e M a n u a l clarifies that an a p p l i c a n t L I C w h o satisfied the t r a i n i n g requirement but has n o experience as a d o m e s t i c w o r k e r whatsoever, c o u l d s t i l l be a good L I C .  A s regards the t w e l v e m o n t h experience, the M a n u a l seems to a d d a "sub-  requirement" o f c o m p l e t i n g at least s i x o f the t w e l v e m o n t h s w i t h one e m p l o y e r , a n d a l l w i t h i n three years p r i o r to the L I C s a p p l i c a t i o n under the L C P . B u t the v i s a officer is also a l l o w e d "to  consider highly experienced applicants who have no formal training." " 1  T h e applicant L I C must  c o m p l y w i t h statutory requirements such as m e d i c a l examination, p o l i c e certificate a n d security  Ibid, 3.4, at 5. 74  c h e c k f o r c e r t a i n countries, c o m p l i a n c e w i t h n o r m a l v i s i t o r requirements, a n d the p r o c e s s i n g fees. T h u s , v i s a officers are g i v e n d i s c r e t i o n as regards the significant requirements o f either p r e v i o u s experience or c o m p l e t e d education o f applicant L I C s .  U p o n satisfactory e v a l u a t i o n o f e l i g i b i l i t y a n d c o m p l i a n c e w i t h the statutory requirements, the applicant L I C is i s s u e d her e m p l o y m e n t a u t h o r i z a t i o n (also k n o w n as the w o r k p e r m i t ) , w h i c h is v a l i d f o r one year a n d is j o b and e m p l o y e r specific.  2.  Labor Rights and Standards  I n M a r c h 1993, the W e s t C o a s t D o m e s t i c W o r k e r s ' A s s o c i a t i o n (the D W A ) , a n a d v o c a c y group for L I C s b a s e d i n V a n c o u v e r , s u b m i t t e d a b r i e f to the E m p l o y m e n t Standards A c t R e v i e w C o m m i t t e e . E s s e n t i a l l y , the B r i e f asked for e c o n o m i c equality for L I C s because u n t i l t h e n d o m e s t i c w o r k e r s i n B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a w e r e p a i d a d a i l y m i n i m u m w a g e rate rather t h a n a n h o u r l y one, a n d they w e r e e x c l u d e d f r o m hours o f w o r k protection. T h e D W A also c l a m o r e d for a m o r e appropriate d e f i n i t i o n o f " w o r k " , to a c c o m m o d a t e t i m e spent that b e l o n g s to a n d is c o n t r o l l e d b y the employer. I n N o v e m b e r 1995, the n e w E m p l o y m e n t Standards A c t t o o k effect. It g r a n t e d L I C s the p r o v i n c i a l m i n i m u m h o u r l y w a g e a n d o v e r t i m e p a y , a n d m a n d a t e d the e m p l o y e r to enter into a n d s i g n a n e m p l o y m e n t contract w i t h the L I C .  T h e B o o k l e t expounds o n these n e w l y acquired labor standards for L I C s a n d i n f o r m s e m p l o y e r s about the specific needs a n d requirements o f the L I C . B e f o r e the actual s i g n i n g o f the contract standard matters s u c h as the L I C s a b i l i t y to d r i v e a car, c o o k i n g s k i l l s , s p e c i a l c u s t o m s a n d 75  r e l i g i o u s practices are considered. T h e e m p l o y e r s are encouraged to discuss every m a t e r i a l aspect f o r the future e m p l o y m e n t relationship w i t h the L I C . T h e y m u s t meet certain responsibilities i n the e m p l o y e r - e m p l o y e e r e l a t i o n s h i p s u c h as acceptable w o r k i n g c o n d i t i o n s , reasonable duties, fair market wages, a n d a k e y to the house; respect for the L I C s p r i v a c y i n her o w n r o o m , her c u l t u r a l or r e l i g i o u s practices; a n d the benefits o f days-off, statutory h o l i d a y s , overtime pay, a n d a salary that meets the a p p l i c a b l e m i n i m u m w a g e . T h e e m p l o y m e n t contract cannot stipulate h o w l o n g a L I C m u s t w o r k for her e m p l o y e r s a n d the latter m u s t g i v e the L I C n o t i c e o f t e r m i n a t i o n a n d contact the appropriate H R C .  T h e B o o k l e t lists the specific w o r k i n g conditions a n d e m p l o y m e n t standards respecting L I C s a n d enumerates the government benefits a p p l i c a b l e to L I C s s u c h as h o s p i t a l a n d m e d i c a l care insurance, workers' compensation benefits, where applicable, and e m p l o y m e n t insurance, C a n a d a P e n s i o n P l a n , O l d A g e Security and welfare. A d v o c a c y groups c a u t i o n L I C s w h o receive welfare that they m a y have d i f f i c u l t y a p p l y i n g for permanent residence i n the future. F i n a l l y , L I C are i n f o r m e d that e m p l o y e r s possess n o right to threaten to deport t h e m for arbitrary reasons.  I n t h e f i n a l part o f the B o o k l e t L I C s are a d v i s e d o f the p o s s i b l e c i r c u m s t a n c e o f c h a n g i n g employers. T h e B o o k l e t advises L I C s to r e m a i n as m u c h as possible w i t h the o r i g i n a l e m p l o y e r s for the obligatory two-year duration before a p p l i c a t i o n for permanent residence m a y c o m m e n c e . T h e B o o k l e t encourages internal settlement between e m p l o y e r s a n d L I C s but a d v i c e s the latter "to leave a physically abusive situation right away." I n case o f a change o f e m p l o y e r s , the former employers are mandated to issue a record o f earnings ( R O E ) s h o w i n g h o w l o n g the L I C 76  w o r k e d a n d h o w m u c h she earned. I f the e m p l o y e r s refuse to issue a R O E to the L I C the latter c a n f i l e a c o m p l a i n t w i t h the H R C .  In s u m , L I C s have to c o m p l y w i t h the f o l l o w i n g w o r k i n g conditions d u r i n g the t w o years o f l i v e i n p e r i o d : First, they c a n o n l y be l i v e - i n caregivers, w h i c h means that d u r i n g the l i v e - i n p e r i o d , L I C s are n o t a l l o w e d to g o to s c h o o l o r take other f o r m s o f v o c a t i o n a l courses unless the academic o r professional pursuit is incidental and secondary to the L I C s f u n c t i o n as a caregiver. S e c o n d , L I C s must w o r k f u l l time and must l i v e i n the employers' h o m e at least five days w i t h i n one week. T h i r d , they c a n o n l y w o r k for the employers whose names appear o n the w o r k permit, w h i c h means that i f a L I C wants to change her employers she must a p p l y f o r a n e w w o r k permit.  3.  Immigration Criteria for Live-In Caregivers  E s s e n t i a l l y , L I C s ' a p p l i c a t i o n f o r permanent residence i n C a n a d a depends o n three types o f criteria: 1.  h e r e l i g i b i l i t y to have a n a p p l i c a t i o n processed i n C a n a d a ;  2.  her c o m p l e t i o n o f l a n d i n g requirements; a n d  3.  her e x a m i n a t i o n and those o f her dependants i n C a n a d a and abroad c o n c e r n i n g admissibility.  A s noted earlier, the L C P requires that a n applicant successfully complete a course o f study that is equivalent to successful c o m p l e t i o n o f C a n a d i a n secondary s c h o o l . T h e B o o k l e t j u s t i f i e s this as a safety measure for L I C s w h o a p p l y for permanent residence so that they are able to succeed i n t h e general l a b o r market. G o v e r n m e n t studies have s h o w n that 65 p e r cent o f n e w j o b s i n C a n a d a w i l l require at least a h i g h s c h o o l education. T h e t w o - y e a r l i v e - i n r e q u i r e m e n t m u s t be  77  c o m p l e t e d w i t h i n the first three years f r o m l a n d i n g i n C a n a d a before the L I C s c a n a p p l y f o r permanent residence. T h e y are then g i v e n a s u m m a r y o f requirements i n the M a n u a l a n d m u s t furnish the i m m i g r a t i o n officer sufficient i n f o r m a t i o n so that the officer c a n v e r i f y i f L I C s meet the f o l l o w i n g requirements for their e l i g i b i l i t y to a p p l y for permanent residence: 1.  p r e v i o u s s u b m i s s i o n o f a n a p p l i c a t i o n for a n e m p l o y m e n t a u t h o r i z a t i o n as a L I C i n a v i s a office;  2.  possession o f v a l i d and subsisting e m p l o y m e n t authorization to w o r k as a L I C ;  3.  residence i n the employer's h o m e ;  4.  c o m p l e t i o n o f a total o f t w o years o f full-time e m p l o y m e n t i n C a n a d a as a L I C w i t h i n three years after b e i n g admitted to C a n a d a ;  5.  p r o o f o f two-year w o r k r e c o r d , c o m p l e t e d w i t h i n three years after entry to Canada;  6.  T h e r e i s n o i n q u i r y o r appeal o r a p p l i c a t i o n for j u d i c i a l r e v i e w f o l l o w i n g a n i n q u i r y under the I m m i g r a t i o n A c t o n the applicant o r her/his d e p e n d a n t s .  118  T h e determination o f whether L I C s meet l a n d i n g requirements i n c l u d e factors s u c h as absence o f m i s r e p r e s e n t a t i o n , f u l l d e s c r i p t i o n o f their dependants a n d p a y m e n t o f correct fees. I n the M a n u a l processing officers are r e m i n d e d that "[a]pplicants who provide false transcripts will be refused [ e n t r y ] . "  119  T h e e x a m i n a t i o n o f the L I C a n d those o f her dependants i n C a n a d a a n d abroad for a d m i s s i b i l i t y for permanent residence is the last stage i n the L I C s application. T h e B o o k l e t r e m i n d s L I C s that f i n a n c i a l situation, s k i l l s u p g r a d i n g i n C a n a d a , volunteer w o r k , m a r i t a l status o r the n u m b e r o f dependents are not relevant factors for a successful grant o f permanent residence. T h e r e are also  Ibid, 3.2.2, at 5. Ibid, 3.22, at 5.  78  certain statutory requirements that need to be c o m p l i e d w i t h , such as m e d i c a l e x a m i n a t i o n o f a l l dependents whether or not they a p p l y for l a n d i n g a n d p a y m e n t o f appropriate l a n d i n g fees. T h e e x a m i n a t i o n o f a l l dependants is also k n o w n as b l o c k assessment. L I C s w h o h a v e a p p l i e d for p e r m a n e n t residence a n d are a w a i t i n g the result are t h e n e l i g i b l e to a p p l y f o r a n o p e n e m p l o y m e n t authorization, or "open v i s a " . T h i s means that the L I C m a y seek e m p l o y m e n t other than caregiving.  4.  Support Groups and Mechanisms  The D W A  1 2 0  w a s established i n 1986 b y a group o f l a w students f r o m the U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h  C o l u m b i a . T h e students were concerned about the problems domestic w o r k e r s w e r e t h e n f a c i n g i n B . C . T h e l a w students t a l k e d about h o w the l i v e - i n d o m e s t i c w o r k e r s were affected b y different l a w s a n d p o l i c i e s a n d h o w they needed to be changed to stop the p r o b l e m s affecting the domestic workers. I n February o f 1987 the D W A p u b l i s h e d its first newsletter. S o o n , the D W A r e c e i v e d a grant from the L e g a l Services S o c i e t y w h i c h enabled it to w r i t e the " D o m e s t i c W o r k e r s H a n d b o o k " . I n A u g u s t 1987 the D W A started the l e g a l c l i n i c .  O v e r the next f e w years the D W A refined its administrative set-up to i n c l u d e former a n d present l i v e - i n d o m e s t i c w o r k e r s i n its Steering C o m m i t t e e . I n 1990 the D W A r e c e i v e d f u n d i n g f r o m the B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a L a w F o u n d a t i o n to pay for operations a n d staff. T h e D W A w o r k e d o n t w o  The history of the DWA was gathered from the DWA publication "10th Year Anniversary" and from personal communication in 1997 with Tarel Quandt, spokesperson and project coordinator of the DWA. 1 2 0  79  projects: c o l l e c t i n g data for a Charter case c h a l l e n g i n g the E m p l o y m e n t Standards A c t a n d responding to an i m m i g r a t i o n r e v i e w o f the F D M P r o g r a m . T h e D W A w a s n o w able to e m p l o y a lawyer.  I n 1992, the D W A l o b b i e d the federal government to change its i m m i g r a t i o n p o l i c y w h i c h r e q u i r e d a l l people a p p l y i n g to w o r k i n C a n a d a to have h a d t r a i n i n g . T h e federal g o v e r n m e n t y i e l d e d to the l o b b y i n g efforts a n d accepted w o r k experience, not j u s t t r a i n i n g , as adequate q u a l i f i c a t i o n to w o r k as a d o m e s t i c w o r k e r i n C a n a d a . T h e D W A w a s also i n s t r u m e n t a l i n l o b b y i n g the B . C . government to m a k e changes to the E m p l o y m e n t Standards A c t i n 1995.  T h e P h i l i p p i n e W o m e n C e n t r e (the P W C ) i s another o r g a n i z a t i o n d e v o t e d to the d o m e s t i c w o r k e r s ' cause. U n l i k e the D W A , w h o s e p r o g r a m s a i m to address the concerns o f a l l f o r e i g n domestic w o r k e r s , the P W C ' s efforts are geared towards the F i l i p i n o c o m m u n i t y i n general a n d F i l i p i n a domestic w o r k e r s i n particular. T h e P W C was f o r m e d i n 1989 t h r o u g h the efforts o f a g r o u p o f s i x F i l i p i n o w o m e n , i n c l u d i n g d o m e s t i c w o r k e r s . T h e P W C has since t h e n a c h i e v e d considerable success i n educating the F i l i p i n o c o m m u n i t y o n the p r e d i c a m e n t o f F i l i p i n a L I C s and has recruited and e m p o w e r e d volunteers, m a n y o f w h o m are present or former F i l i p i n a L I C s a n d F i l i p i n o youths based i n C a n a d a . T h e P W C has also been active a n d v i s i b l e i n n u m e r o u s p o l i t i c a l causes, m o s t recently against the r e c o m m e n d a t i o n s o f the I m m i g r a t i o n L e g i s l a t i v e R e v i e w , i n 1997 at the People's C o n f e r e n c e A g a i n s t I m p e r i a l i s t G l o b a l i z a t i o n w h e n the A P E C L e a d e r s S u m m i t w a s h e l d i n V a n c o u v e r and attendance at the G l o b a l A l l i a n c e A g a i n s t  80  T r a f f i c k i n g o f W o m e n C o n s u l t a t i v e F o r u m , a f e m i n i s t - o r i e n t e d conference. T h e P W C also connects w i t h G A B R I E L A P h i l i p p i n e s , the national alliance o f women's organizations a n d other F i l i p i n o w o m e n ' s groups across C a n a d a , the U n i t e d States a n d i n other parts o f the w o r l d . T h e P W C advocates the e l i m i n a t i o n o f the L C P and argues that m a n y o f the L C P ' s aspects, especially the t w o - y e a r l i v e - i n requirement a n d the temporary w o r k v i s a , ensure the d o m e s t i c w o r k e r s c o n t i n u e to w o r k i n s i m i l a r l o w - p a y i n g j o b s .  T h e D W A a n d the P W C represent the o r g a n i z e d groups i n V a n c o u v e r for the f o r e i g n d o m e s t i c w o r k e r s ' cause. M a n y other organizations have sprouted across C a n a d a , a m o n g others, the A s s o c i a t i o n for the Defense o f the R i g h t s o f D o m e s t i c W o r k e r s o f M o n t r e a l , the C a l g a r y I m m i g r a n t W o m e n ' s C e n t e r D o m e s t i c W o r k e r s G r o u p a n d the T o r o n t o O r g a n i z a t i o n for D o m e s t i c W o r k e r s ' R i g h t s ( I N T E R C E D E ) . T h e latter o r g a n i z a t i o n is credited for p u t t i n g pressure  o n the federal  government  to m a k e  changes to the T e m p o r a r y  Employment  A u t h o r i z a t i o n P r o g r a m a n d enact the F D M P r o g r a m , a n d w i t h it the chance to a p p l y for permanent residence.  121  T h e r e appears to be no f o r m a l n e t w o r k i n g s y s t e m i n p l a c e a m o n g the  d o m e s t i c w o r k e r s ' o r g a n i z a t i o n a l t h o u g h it is apparent that L I C s a l l o v e r C a n a d a see a need to group together w i t h i n the p r o v i n c e s to address their distinct concerns.  Abigail B. Bakan and Daiva Stasiulis. Foreign Domestic Worker Policy in Canada. Not One ofthe Family. Foreign Domestic Workers in Canada, University of Toronto Press, 1997, at 39.  81  C a n a d i a n g o v e r n m e n t support i s extended to the L I C s t h r o u g h the E m p l o y m e n t Standards B r a n c h (the E S B ) a n d the H R C . A s p r e v i o u s l y discussed these are the government agencies that d e a l d i r e c t l y w i t h the L I C s , f r o m the m o m e n t they arrive i n C a n a d a u n t i l they are q u a l i f i e d to a p p l y f o r permanent residence. I m m i g r a t i o n C a n a d a deals w i t h the L I C s ' a p p l i c a t i o n s f o r permanent residence. T h e support m e c h a n i s m t h r o u g h the extraterritorial role o f the P h i l i p p i n e g o v e r n m e n t c o n c e r n i n g the welfare o f its m i g r a n t w o r k e r s has been d i s c u s s e d i n chapter II. H o w e v e r , the P h i l i p p i n e C o n s u l a t e i n V a n c o u v e r does not have a l a b o r attache n o r does i t r u n a w e l f a r e center f o r F i l i p i n o m i g r a n t w o r k e r s . A s m e n t i o n e d , the P h i l i p p i n e g o v e r n m e n t does not perceive C a n a d a as a trouble spot for its m i g r a n t w o r k e r s . G o v e r n m e n t support t h r o u g h the labor attache a n d welfare centers are therefore concentrated i n the M i d d l e E a s t a n d i n Southeast A s i a . A l s o as p r e v i o u s l y discussed, the P h i l i p p i n e government l a c k s the necessary resources to carry o u t its mandate o f h e l p i n g a l l o f its m i g r a n t w o r k e r s .  C. A  Analysis of the Live-In Caregiver Program and the Immigration and Labor Policies c l o s e l o o k at the m e c h a n i s m o f the L C P s h o w s the t w o - t i e r e d a n d c o n v o l u t e d set o f  i m m i g r a t i o n a n d labor processes. W h i l e i m m i g r a t i o n is w i t h i n the d o m a i n o f the federal government, labor i s a n amorphous matter that i s p r i m a r i l y w i t h i n the p r o v i n c i a l d o m a i n . S i n c e L I C s are affected b y b o t h federal a n d p r o v i n c i a l l e g i s l a t i o n , they f i n d i t e v e n m o r e d i f f i c u l t to ensure they are c o m p l y i n g w i t h the labor laws w h i c h vary f r o m p r o v i n c e to p r o v i n c e . T h u s , the L C P i s a p r o g r a m f a l l i n g under the federal I m m i g r a t i o n A c t . H o w e v e r , L I C s h a v e to educate t h e m s e l v e s about the p r o v i n c i a l labor standards they f a l l under. S i n c e 1995 L I C s are c o v e r e d  82  under the B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a E m p l o y m e n t Standards A c t w h i c h stipulates a m i n i m u m standard agreement o n w a g e s , hours o f w o r k , duties a n d r o o m a n d b o a r d . B u t m a n y o f these rights are m e r e l y procedural rights. T h e y are not self-executory a n d L I C s bear the b u r d e n o f e n s u r i n g that t h e i r e m p l o y e r s are i n c o m p l i a n c e w i t h the l a w . F o r e x a m p l e , the contract i t s e l f is negotiated e x c l u s i v e l y between L I C s and their employers. T h e B o o k l e t stresses the government's neutrality b y not b e i n g a party to the contract and h a v i n g no authority to intervene, i n consonance w i t h the p r i n c i p l e o f freedom o f contract. T h e burden o f e n s u r i n g that the a p p l i c a b l e l a b o r standards are f o l l o w e d lies w i t h the L I C s . W h i l e any labor standards v i o l a t i o n s c a n be reported to the E S B , f e w L I C s a c t u a l l y f i l e a c o m p l a i n t because o f fear o f reprisals, a n d e v e n threats o f d e p o r t a t i o n f r o m their e m p l o y e r s .  122  T h e B o o k l e t lists the specific w o r k i n g c o n d i t i o n s a n d e m p l o y m e n t  standards respecting the L I C , but it i m p o s e s o n the L I C the task o f o b t a i n i n g the l e g a l i n f o r m a t i o n f r o m the appropriate government agencies.  T h u s , labor standards are not enforceable because o f l a c k o f a u n i f o r m enforcement m e c h a n i s m a m o n g e m p l o y e r s and L I C s . T h e E S B w i l l act o n l y i f a c o m p l a i n t is brought f o r w a r d b y L I C s . A standard e m p l o y m e n t contract is just one o f the m a n y w a y s that the w o r k i n g c o n d i t i o n s o f L I C s c a n be i m p r o v e d . T h e R O E requirement, w h i l e b e n i g n i n purpose, is a p o t e n t i a l source o f control for the employers since every L I C w h o applies for permanent residence m u s t f u r n i s h the i m m i g r a t i o n officer w i t h a R O E to p r o v e c o m p l e t i o n o f t w o years o f l i v e - i n w o r k . It has been d o c u m e n t e d that not a l l e m p l o y e r s w i l l i n g l y c o m p l y w i t h this requirement, m a k i n g it m o r e  1 2 2  Supra, note 104, at 19. 83  difficult for L I C s to complete a l l requirements for the application for permanent residence. W h i l e it is the right o f every L I C to receive a R O E and it is the employers' duty to issue one, f e w L I C s w i l l c o m p l a i n to the E S B about a delayed issuance or non-issuance o f a R O E because L I C s k n o w they need it for their a p p l i c a t i o n for permanent residence. T h u s , the R O E is not m u c h different f r o m its predecessor, the requirement o f a release letter w h i c h w a s based s o l e l y o n the prerogative o f the e m p l o y e r .  W h i l e L I C s are not required to stay w i t h their o r i g i n a l employers, the process o f c h a n g i n g t h e m requires a n a p p l i c a t i o n for a n e w w o r k p e r m i t b e a r i n g the n a m e o f the n e w e m p l o y e r s . T h i s is r e q u i r e d because a w o r k p e r m i t is j o b a n d e m p l o y e r specific. T h u s , the L I C w h o w i s h e s to c h a n g e e m p l o y e r s m u s t first ask for a R O E f r o m the first e m p l o y e r s , a p p l y for a n e w w o r k permit a n d w a i t for its issuance before she c a n start w o r k i n g for the n e w employers. D e l a y s m a y o c c u r at a n y stage; either i n f i n d i n g n e w e m p l o y e r s , o b t a i n i n g the R O E or r e c e i v i n g the n e w w o r k permit. T h e process again underscores the elaborate bureaucracy L I C s have to face f o r a n otherwise u n c o m p l i c a t e d procedure o f c h a n g i n g j o b s . F i n a l l y , L I C s are r e q u i r e d to r e n e w their w o r k p e r m i t every year. T h i s means that at the end o f the v a l i d i t y o f the w o r k p e r m i t , L I C s face a n uncertainty o f the renewal o f their w o r k permit. T h e y must ask their e m p l o y e r s to consent to a r e n e w a l a n d then submit the employers' consent letter together w i t h their request for a r e n e w a l a n d the a p p l i c a b l e fees.  84  T h u s , i t i s i m p o r t a n t that the E S B b e pro-active o n the situation o f L I C s a n d o n e m p l o y e r s ' c o m p l i a n c e w i t h the E m p l o y m e n t Standards A c t . M a n y o f the D W A ' s recommendations c l a m o r for closer m o n i t o r i n g o f the e m p l o y m e n t relations i n v o l v i n g L I C s .  1 2 3  T h e r e c o m m e n d a t i o n s are  basic r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s expected o f the B . C . M i n i s t r y o f L a b o u r a n d the E S B . A m o n g the m o r e important recommendations are registration o f employers w i t h the E S B w i t h the c o o p e r a t i o n o f e m p l o y m e n t agencies, m o r e pro-active enforcement o f the E m p l o y m e n t Standards A c t t h r o u g h m o n i t o r i n g o f e m p l o y e r s a n d e m p l o y m e n t agencies a n d i m p o s i t i o n o f penalties o n e m p l o y e r s for failure to register w i t h the E S B , a n d p r o v i s i o n s for legal a i d b y both the B . C . a n d the federal g o v e r n m e n t . Further, since m o s t sending countries require their m i g r a n t w o r k e r s t o u n d e r g o s e m i n a r s a n d o r i e n t a t i o n session about the c u l t u r a l n o r m s a n d habits o f the host c o u n t r y , i t i s suggested that the M i n i s t r y o f L a b o u r a n d I m m i g r a t i o n C a n a d a coordinate to require e m p l o y e r s to attend o r i e n t a t i o n sessions to understand the r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s o f e m p l o y i n g a L I C .  L I C s c a n b e d i s q u a l i f i e d for m a k i n g a misrepresentation i n their a p p l i c a t i o n f o r permanent residence. Misrepresentation refers to the education, training and/or experience requirements for issuance o f a n e m p l o y m e n t a u t h o r i z a t i o n , "whether the misrepresentation member or by another person."™  was made by the  T h i s p u n i t i v e measure stems f r o m the 1 9 7 7 " C a s e o f the  S e v e n J a m a i c a n W o m e n " where the w o m e n w h o h a d misrepresented their m a r i t a l a n d f a m i l y status w e r e deported but subsequently restored to their l a n d e d status under M i n i s t e r ' s P e r m i t s , i n large part due to strong p u b l i c support f r o m various cause-oriented organizations. T h e D W A  1 2 3  1 2 4  Ibid.  Manual, Chapter PO13, 10.1, at 21. See also, section 27( 1 )(e), Immigration Act. 85  advises L I C s i n B . C . that presently, misrepresentation as to age, t r a i n i n g or e d u c a t i o n c a n s t i l l cause serious obstacles to the L I C s ' a p p l i c a t i o n for permanent residence. H o w e v e r , the m i s r e p r e s e n t a t i o n c a n n o w be r e c t i f i e d as l o n g as the L I C admits to its c o m m i s s i o n a n d has it corrected p r i o r to her a p p l i c a t i o n for permanent residence. W h a t c o m p l i c a t e s this r e q u i r e m e n t is the fact that the consequence o f misrepresentation b y another person is also borne b y the L I C . I n the past, s o m e F i l i p i n a d o m e s t i c w o r k e r s w h o a p p l y for the L C P f r o m S i n g a p o r e or H o n g K o n g are asked b y unscrupulous e m p l o y m e n t agencies there to misrepresent their m a r i t a l and/or f a m i l y status. T h e F i l i p i n a s are t o l d that the concealment o f their marriage and/or their c h i l d r e n w i l l i m p r o v e their chances at w o r k i n g i n C a n a d a under the L C P . T h e e m p l o y m e n t agencies e x p l o i t the F i l i p i n a d o m e s t i c w o r k e r s k n o w i n g the latter often face f i n a n c i a l constraints a n d support f a m i l y m e m b e r s i n the P h i l i p p i n e s . G i v e n this u n e q u a l r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n agent a n d a p p l i c a n t d o m e s t i c w o r k e r , it is argued that w h i l e the general purpose for d i s a l l o w i n g misrepresentation i s c o m m e n d a b l e , it b e c o m e s a r i g i d rule i n the above s i t u a t i o n to p u n i s h the L I C s for their misrepresentation.  125  T h e real c u l p r i t i n m a n y instances are the p r o f i t - h u n g r y  e m p l o y m e n t agencies eager to d e p l o y the d o m e s t i c w o r k e r s .  126  There are a number of federal court cases dealing with the issue of misrepresentation. See Mitra v. Canada. [1996] F.C.J. No. 1495, Borre v. Canada. [1998] I.A.D.D. No. 110, and in Eugenio v. Canada. 38 Imm. LR. (2d) 165. The case of Eugenio v. Canada. 38 Imm. LR. (2d) 165, presents misrepresentation without undue influence. A domestic worker on her way to Canada was provided by her Singaporean agent with a passport that stated a different person's name. The agent explained that he had arranged for her to take the place of another nanny who had been approved by Canadian immigration authorities but could not then travel. The domestic worker needed the work to support her spouse and her four children. Upon landing in Canada she continued her false identity and eventually obtained Canadian citizenship. Immigration Canada ordered her deported and the domestic worker appealed. The case was dismissed. The court held that the domestic worker, never having applied for entry to Canada, did not have the right to appeal the deportation. The court found that the domestic worker perpetrated the fraud by obtaining various documents, and Canadian citizenship. The court also found that she committed an act of personation punishable under the Criminal Code. 1 2 6  86  T h e onerous c o n d i t i o n s d o n o t end there. I n the a p p l i c a t i o n f o r permanent residence, the L I C s are assessed w i t h a l l their f a m i l y m e m b e r s whether o r n o t they also a p p l y f o r permanent  residence: "When they apply for landing in Canada, applicants are required to have all dependants examined."  121  T h i s b l o c k assessment m e r e l y aggravates the e m o t i o n a l a n d p e r s o n a l  hardships L I C s already suffer due to lengthy separation f r o m the f a m i l y . It also further fortifies the s t i g m a that L I C s are considered less w o r t h y immigrants. T h e C a n a d i a n i m m i g r a t i o n p r o g r a m has been accused o f f o r m u l a t i n g r a c i a l l y tainted rules that condone the separation o f f a m i l i e s o f foreign d o m e s t i c s w h i l e at the same t i m e m o u t h i n g o f f i c i a l state discourses o n "the sanctity of  the family" :  m  The family' that is to be protectedfrom unnecessary state intervention is the middleclass white family. The same state shows no hesitation in disrupting family lives of usually poor, rural women from developing countries." 129  In fact, the M a n u a l makes clear the intent o f Canada's i m m i g r a t i o n p o l i c i e s w h e n i t advises v i s a officers o n situations w h e n a L I C wishes to be accompanied b y dependants u p o n her i n i t i a l entry into C a n a d a :  It is expected that live-in caregivers will not be accompanied by dependants. Although, there may be evidence that the employer is aware of the applicant's circumstances and that the employer agrees to a dependant member of the applicant's family residing in the employer's home, there are no guarantees that any subsequent employer would agree to the same terms. Live-in caregivers who wish to bring their children should be given the reasons why this is not possible. Visitor visas should not be issued to these children, but the live-in caregiver applicant may be approved.  Supra, note 124, at 3. Supra, note 121, at 17.  127  128  Ibid  ]29  87  C l e a r l y , the m a i n interest o f C a n a d a is i n the L I C s ' labor and s k i l l s as caregivers. W h a t happens to their spouses and c h i l d r e n is less important because the p r e s u m p t i o n is that L I C s w i l l sponsor t h e m to C a n a d a after t w o years. T h u s , the requirement o f b l o c k assessment m u s t be e l i m i n a t e d f r o m the L C P a n d instead assess f a m i l y m e m b e r s o f L I C s o n a n i n d i v i d u a l basis.  A l t h o u g h the B o o k l e t states that s k i l l s u p g r a d i n g i n C a n a d a , v o l u n t e e r w o r k a n d f i n a n c i a l situations are not relevant factors for a successful grant o f permanent residence they b e c o m e v e r y relevant f o r L I C s o n c e they o b t a i n a n o p e n e m p l o y m e n t a u t h o r i z a t i o n p e n d i n g the o u t c o m e o f their a p p l i c a t i o n for permanent residence. S i n c e a L I C w a s m o r e l i k e l y unable to go to s c h o o l w h i l e w o r k i n g as a L I C for t w o years, she n o w has m i n i m a l chances o f a p p l y i n g for j o b s outside the c a r e g i v e r m i l i e u , despite the n e w l y a c q u i r e d " o p e n v i s a " . T h u s , a L I C loses t w o years o f general p r i v a c y a n d s o c i a l space because o f the l i v e - i n w o r k i n g c o n d i t i o n . She also loses t w o years o f opportunity o f upgrading her s k i l l s , l e a v i n g her w i t h the same degree o f e m p l o y a b i l i t y as she h a d w h e n she first entered C a n a d a t w o or three years ago. W h i l e this loss m a y be v i e w e d as just another c o n d i t i o n o f e m p l o y m e n t and application for permanent residence, F i l i p i n a s w h o enter C a n a d a as L I C s lose out o n the m a n y chances o f s e l f - i m p r o v e m e n t that other i m m i g r a n t s freely a v a i l of.  T h e l i v e - i n requirement is therefore the all-encompassing requirement o f the w o r k i n g c o n d i t i o n s o f L I C s . It i s the essence o f the L C P a n d has s u r v i v e d decades o f i n f l u x o f f o r e i g n d o m e s t i c w o r k e r s i n t o C a n a d a . B e c a u s e o f the l i v e - i n requirement w o r k p l a c e a n d l i v i n g space are i n  88  essence one a n d the same. T h i s a m b i g u o u s nature o f L I C s ' w o r k p l a c e m a k e s enforcement a n d m o n i t o r i n g o f labor standards more difficult. T h u s , L I C s f i n d it d o u b l y difficult to be c a n d i d w i t h their employers. T h e y are less eager to assert their labor rights o n e m p l o y e r s w h o s e house they l i v e i n . T h e y are also m o r e prone to abuse, threats, c u l t u r a l i n s e n s i t i v i t y a n d e v e n s e x u a l harassment.  130  I n fact, the B o o k l e t recognizes the inherently v u l n e r a b l e w o r k i n g c o n d i t i o n s o f  L I C s w h e n it advises t h e m o n the proper steps to take i n case o f abuse i n the w o r k p l a c e . L I C s are w a r n e d about the p o s s i b l e abusive situations that m a y arise out o f the w o r k r e l a t i o n s h i p . T h e y are i n f o r m e d o f the nature o f abuse a n d their rights a n d protections afforded t h e m . T h e B o o k l e t also contains a n e x p l i c i t note that a L I C w h o takes up w o r k as a l i v e - o u t c a r e g i v e r d u r i n g the r e q u i r e d two-year l i v e - i n p e r i o d c a n be d i s q u a l i f i e d f r o m the p r o g r a m .  L I C s are aware that their rights as d o m e s t i c w o r k e r s , i n c l u d i n g the n e w l y a c q u i r e d l a b o r rights i n B . C . , are subordinate to the employers' prerogative to dictate the rules i n the w o r k a n d l i v i n g place, to m a k e a favorable r e c o m m e n d a t i o n about their w o r k performance to friends a n d other potential L I C e m p l o y e r s , a n d to p r o m p t l y issue a R O E for the L I C s ' a p p l i c a t i o n for permanent residence. F i n a l l y , the concept o f post-entry a p p l i c a t i o n for permanent residence has r i g h t l y been c r i t i c i z e d as gatekeeping a n d p o l i c i n g measures b y C a n a d a o f desirable f o r e i g n l a b o r but undesirable citizens.  In January 1997, the Vancouver parents of a teenage boy were found liable for the son's extreme sexual harassment against their live-in nanny. The B.C. Human Rights Council awarded the live-in caregiver damages and lost wages. 89  T h e t w o - y e a r l i v e - i n requirement is also t i e d w i t h the requirement that the L I C m u s t a p p l y for p e r m a n e n t residence after the t w o years o f l i v e - i n w o r k but w i t h i n three years from entering C a n a d a . T h u s , a L I C must finish the t w o years o f l i v e - i n c a r e g i v i n g w i t h i n three years or loses the chance to a p p l y for permanent residence. I n addition to the l i v e - i n requirement, the L I C s t w o year temporary status further exacerbates their precarious situation. Inevitably, a L I C m a y secure or be d e n i e d permanent residence status, thus p l a c i n g her first t w o years w i t h her w o r k p e r m i t i n the " t e c h n i c a l l y non-existent category o f v i s i t i n g i m m i g r a n t " .  1 3 1  T h u s , C a n a d a f o l l o w s other host countries i n offering an unstable w o r k i n g e n v i r o n m e n t for f o r e i g n domestic workers because o f inordinate amounts o f p o w e r g i v e n to employers. I n effect, the i m b a l a n c e d relationship between e m p l o y e r s a n d L I C s b e c o m e s a m i c r o l e v e l representation o f the d u p l i c i t y between the P h i l i p p i n e s , a labor sending country, and C a n a d a , a m i g r a n t w o r k e r host country. I n " A n A f f a i r B e t w e e n N a t i o n s " , P a t r i c i a D a e n z e r posits that:  "...the powers of the First World states are increasingly limit  access of third  Citizenship.  World migrants  Such policing  domestic workers, particularly  being used to police and  to rights associated  is evident in Canadian  policies  with First regulating  World foreign  as they have been applied to Third World women of  colour."  m  Audrey Macklin. Foreign Domestic Workers. McGill Law Journal, vol. 37, no. 3, 1992, at 697. Macklin further states: 1 3 1  [R]er application to enter Canada as a foreign domestic worker is assessed as if she had the intention of remaining in Canada permanently, but once admitted she is officially labelled a visitor unless and until she successfully applies for landed status two years hence . . . In practice a domestic worker bears the burden of both immigrants and visitors, yet receives the benefits of neither. Patricia M . Daenzer. An Affair Between Nations. Not One of the Family. Foreign Domestic Workers in Canada, University of Toronto Press, 1997, at 85. 1 3 2  90  Indeed, Canada's regulations restricting the rights o f foreign domestic workers a n d m a r g i n a l i z i n g their s o c i a l m o b i l i t y a n d status reflect the u n e q u a l relations between " F i r s t W o r l d C a n a d a " a n d " T h i r d W o r l d P h i l i p p i n e s " . T h e d e v e l o p m e n t o f this relationship is unfortunate, g i v e n the reciprocal reliance; o f Canada's need for cheap labor a n d o f the P h i l i p p i n e s ' v i e w o f C a n a d a as a safe h a v e n for its m i g r a n t w o r k e r s .  I n the c o n c l u d i n g chapter it is argued that C a n a d a is i n a u n i q u e p o s i t i o n to b l a z e the t r a i l for international r e c o g n i t i o n o n the importance o f international labor, e s p e c i a l l y f e m a l e labor, m i g r a t i o n . B e f o r e p r o c e e d i n g to the d i s c u s s i o n , it is h e l p f u l to s u m m a r i z e w h a t has been discussed i n the preceding chapters. Chapter I explained the b a c k g r o u n d , objective a n d l i m i t a t i o n o f the thesis. I n chapter II it is learned that the P h i l i p p i n e s , w i t h the world's most extensive labor export p r o g r a m , o p e n l y espouses the m i g r a n t w o r k e r p h e n o m e n o n because o f the l i d it puts o n its u n e m p l o y m e n t rate a n d the valuable f o r e i g n exchange it earns f r o m the m i g r a n t w o r k e r s ' remittances. It is also learned that the P h i l i p p i n e s recognizes, t h r o u g h years o f f a i l e d l e g i s l a t i v e c o n t r o l , the resolute trend o f labor m i g r a t i o n is presently the P h i l i p p i n e s ' o n l y r e l i a b l e export p o l i c y that keeps its e c o n o m y buoyant u n t i l f u l l e c o n o m i c stability a n d p r o s p e r i t y is a c h i e v e d . Chapter III expounds o n the experiences o f F i l i p i n a L I C s i n B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a . T h e third chapter also elaborates o n Canada's foreign w o r k e r a n d m i g r a t i o n p o l i c i e s set out i n the L C P a n d g i v e s a c r i t i c a l a n a l y s i s o f the p e r c e i v e d inequities i n the L C P .  91  IV. MIGRANTS' RIGHTS AND LABOR ISSUES IN THE CONTEXT OF THE LIVEIN CAREGIVERS IN CANADA  A.  A Policy Analysis  C a n a d a ' s f o r e i g n w o r k e r situation i s less oppressive than i n the M i d d l e E a s t o r the n e w l y i n d u s t r i a l i z e d A s i a n e c o n o m i e s . T h e L C P i n general d i s p l a y s a m o r e l i b e r a l a p p r o a c h to d o m e s t i c w o r k t h a n w h a t c a n b e f o u n d i n the t r a d i t i o n a l host countries where h i s t o r i c a l a n d c u l t u r a l practices o f the ancient master-servant relationship are a p p l i e d to f o r e i g n d o m e s t i c w o r k e r s . F o r e x a m p l e , Singapore's t w o d o m i n a n t r a c i a l groups, the C h i n e s e a n d E a s t I n d i a n , have preserved the n o t i o n o f a feudal paternalism o n the part o f the e m p l o y e r (the C h i n e s e ) a n d a stringent s o c i a l h i e r a r c h y based o n the caste system (the E a s t Indian). A d d i t i o n a l l y , i n b o t h cultures, w o m e n traditionally possess a l o w e r status.  133  I n S a u d i A r a b i a a n d i n Singapore, f o r e i g n  d o m e s t i c w o r k e r s are n o t c o v e r e d b y the l o c a l labor l a w s . S i n g a p o r e i n p a r t i c u l a r has d e v i s e d stringent rules not o n l y for the domestic w o r k e r but for the e m p l o y e r as w e l l . T h e latter m u s t p a y a stiff mandatory b o n d a n d ensure that the domestic w o r k e r "behaves w e l l " a n d does not, a m o n g others, b e c o m e pregnant o r m a r r y a Singaporean. T h i s e n v i r o n m e n t creates drastic pressure o n the e m p l o y e r to ensure that the d o m e s t i c w o r k e r c o m p l i e s w i t h the rules so that the e m p l o y e r does n o t to forfeit the c o s t l y b o n d . A l s o , i n a l l t r a d i t i o n a l host countries f o r f o r e i g n d o m e s t i c w o r k e r s , the scope o f w o r k is not well-defined. T h u s , it i s c o m m o n practice for f o r e i g n domestic  Thomas T. W. Tan and Theresa W. Dwanyahan, "Opposition and Interdependence: The Dialectics of Maid Employer Relationships in Singapore", Philippine Sociological Review, 35 (3/4), 1987 July/Dec, at 37.  92  w o r k e r s to l o o k after the c h i l d r e n a n d pets, c l e a n the h o m e , w a s h the cars a n d attend to their e m p l o y e r s ' needs d u r i n g s o c i a l gatherings. O v e r t i m e w o r k hours b e c o m e routine w h i l e their c o m m e n s u r a t e p a y i s left to the d i s c r e t i o n a n d g o o d w i l l o f the e m p l o y e r . I n C a n a d a , the L C P m e c h a n i s m ensures that potential e m p l o y e r s s h o w p r o o f that they are i n real n e e d o f a n L I C , w h i c h means that there is either a c h i l d o r an elderly person i n need o f c a r e g i v i n g . A s p r e v i o u s l y discussed, the scope o f w o r k o f L I C s is, at least i n theory, also w e l l - d e f i n e d . Pertinent p r o v i n c i a l labor l a w s i n p r o v i n c e s where L I C s are concentrated are n o w applicable to them. It i s thus fitting to observe the change o f term f r o m "domestic w o r k e r " used i n earlier C a n a d i a n f o r e i g n domestic programs to " l i v e - i n caregiver", e m p h a s i z i n g the different treatment o f f o r e i g n m i g r a n t w o r k e r s between the traditional host countries and C a n a d a , and stressing the important 'caregiving' s k i l l s o f a " l i v e - i n caregiver", as o p p o s e d to h i g h l i g h t i n g the b o n d e d labor situation i n " d o m e s t i c work".  H o w e v e r , b e i n g the m o s t benevolent host country does n o t erase the oppressive character o f C a n a d a ' s f o r e i g n w o r k e r p o l i c i e s . C a n a d a has been accused o f i m p l e m e n t i n g i m m i g r a t i o n p o l i c i e s , u p o n w h i c h the L C P i s f o u n d e d , w h i c h "have been shaped by the demand for cheap  labour, as well as racial, ethnic, gender and class biases [discriminatory of] women of colour."  m  It i s important to analyze h o w effective the L C P i s as a p o l i c y instrument f o r C a n a d a .  It i s argued that the L C P presents a u n i q u e scenario where the p r o g r a m , a l t h o u g h o r i g i n a l l y  134  Agnes Castille, "Canada's Immigration Policy and Domestics from the Caribbean: The Second Scheme",  Race, Class, Gender: Bonds and Barriers. Toronto and Montreal: Between the Lines and the Society for Socialist  Studies, 1987. 93  d r i v e n b y Canada's e c o n o m i c demands, attracts female m i g r a n t w o r k e r s w h o treat the p r o g r a m as a n i m m i g r a t i o n m e c h a n i s m . Studies have s h o w n that m i g r a n t w o r k e r s a n d their f a m i l i e s feel that the f i n a n c i a l rewards that m i g r a t i o n i s expected to p r o d u c e offset the f a m i l y p r o b l e m s r e s u l t i n g f r o m the m i g r a t i o n experience. T h u s , the c o n t r a d i c t i o n entrenched i n the f o r e i g n domestic w o r k e r m o v e m e n t o f p a i n f u l separation from their f a m i l y i n order to care f o r another's is e m p h a s i z e d b y the fact that m o s t d o m e s t i c w o r k e r s migrate to b u i l d f i n a n c i a l security a n d secure a brighter future f o r their c h i l d r e n .  1 3 5  It i s c o m m o n l y r e c o g n i z e d that m o s t F i l i p i n a s  entering C a n a d a under the L C P migrate to sponsor their f a m i l y a n d p r o v i d e t h e m w i t h a better life:  "If it wasn't children, it was parents, or siblings or cousins... Why else would a 32 year old woman be moving half-way around the world to take care of someone else's household?"'  36  A s p r e v i o u s l y d i s c u s s e d , C a n a d a i s different from other host countries f o r F i l i p i n a m i g r a n t w o r k e r s because it offers the chance o f a p p l y i n g f o r permanent residence after  having  c o n t i n u o u s l y w o r k e d f o r t w o years as L I C s . T h i s chance f o r s o c i a l i n t e g r a t i o n also s h o w s Canada's t r a d i t i o n as a n i m m i g r a t i o n c o u n t r y rather than a host o f t e m p o r a r y f o r e i g n w o r k e r s . I n contrast, Southeast A s i a n , M i d d l e E a s t e r n a n d e v e n E u r o p e a n host c o u n t r i e s  137  o f Filipina  d o m e s t i c w o r k e r s a l l o w entry o f the w o m e n strictly o n a t e m p o r a r y w o r k basis. T h e s e are c o u n t r i e s w i t h stringent o r non-existent i m m i g r a t i o n p o l i c i e s - situations w h e r e the terms "overseas contract w o r k e r " a n d "temporary" o r "guest w o r k e r " are appropriate. T h u s , C a n a d a  Supra, note 121, at 17. Supra, note 131, at 706. These would include Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, United Arab Emirates and Italy. 1 3 5  136  1 3 7  94  p r o v i d e s a m i d d l e g r o u n d for F i l i p i n a m i g r a n t w o r k e r s w h o are l o o k i n g for better j o b s a n d a better p l a c e to l i v e : It asks t h e m to w o r k for t w o years as a c o n d i t i o n to a p p l y f o r permanent residence i n the future.  T h e n o t i o n o f a m i d d l e g r o u n d c a n be further u s e d to illustrate h o w C a n a d a enjoys b o t h w o r l d s w i t h o u t suffering f r o m the s t i g m a o f either. B y offering the chance o f permanent residence to f o r e i g n d o m e s t i c w o r k e r s , C a n a d a a i m s to differentiate i t s e l f f r o m the i l l - p e r c e i v e d host countries o f f o r e i g n domestic workers. C a n a d a also tries to portray itself as a f r i e n d l y destination v i a the L C P route for w o m e n f r o m d e v e l o p i n g countries w h o otherwise l a c k the resources or qualifications to migrate to C a n a d a . T h e federal government has a l w a y s put f o r w a r d the c l a i m that the L C P is a compassionate p r o g r a m because it gives migrants a chance at m i g r a t i o n to C a n a d a . It thus a i m s to appear benevolent w h i l e d i s g u i s i n g its n e e d for the l a b o r o f f o r e i g n domestic workers. I n the face o f such government rhetoric, it has r i g h t f u l l y been questioned w h y d o m e s t i c w o r k e r s w h o s e labor is i n h i g h d e m a n d cannot s i m p l y enter C a n a d a as permanent immigrants.  138  It is o b v i o u s that the C a n a d i a n government upholds the d u p l i c i t y o f the L C P a n d  renders u n c l e a r whether the L C P is p r i m a r i l y a n i m m i g r a t i o n or l a b o r p r o g r a m . T h e L C P incorporates elements o f labor p o l i c i e s i n an i m m i g r a t i o n p r o g r a m that a l l o w s f o r e i g n w o r k e r s to enter but requires t h e m to w o r k before they can permanently stay i n C a n a d a . I n short, the labor o f the f o r e i g n d o m e s t i c w o r k e r s is needed but their right to stay i n C a n a d a is subject to future determination. E v e n the point system undervalues domestic w o r k w h i c h is i n such a d e m a n d that  1 3 8  Supra, note 131, at 697.  95  the federal g o v e r n m e n t w a s c o m p e l l e d to create separate p r o g r a m s under the i m m i g r a t i o n regulations. C l e a r l y , the irregular nature o f the L C P is i n stark contrast to the other concurrent Canadian i m m i g r a t i o n programs.  T h u s , C a n a d a ' s d o m e s t i c w o r k e r p o l i c y differs o n l y i n degree rather t h a n i n k i n d f r o m those e x i s t i n g i n other host c o u n t r i e s .  139  A s i n countries s u c h as the M i d d l e E a s t a n d the n e w l y  industrialized Southeast A s i a n economies, C a n a d a takes advantage o f the international m i g r a t i o n structures that are p r i m a r i l y dictated b y g l o b a l e c o n o m i c i m b a l a n c e s b e t w e e n d e v e l o p i n g s e n d i n g countries a n d developed-host countries. I n its supposed h u m a n i t a r i a n r o l e , C a n a d a accepts p o o r w o m e n f r o m the P h i l i p p i n e s w h o s e  government e s c h e w s the m o n u m e n t a l  responsibility o f protecting its migrant workers a l l over the w o r l d . A l t h o u g h the P h i l i p p i n e s has established the w o r l d ' s m o s t sophisticated overseas e m p l o y m e n t p r o g r a m , i t cannot a p p l y i t to the L I C s i t u a t i o n i n C a n a d a as the L C P set-up is v i e w e d b y the P h i l i p p i n e s as a n i m m i g r a t i o n p r o g r a m , n o t a t e m p o r a r y f o r e i g n w o r k e r p r o g r a m . T h u s , the P h i l i p p i n e s relies o n the " b e n e v o l e n c e " o f Canada's " h o s p i t a l i t y " , o f p r o v i d i n g F i l i p i n o m i g r a n t w o r k e r s w i t h "the best w o r k i n g a n d l i v i n g c o n d i t i o n s i n the w o r l d " . T h e C a n a d i a n L C P appears f a v o r a b l e o n l y i n c o m p a r i s o n to the conditions domestic workers must endure i n m o r e oppressive host countries. T h i s fact escapes most F i l i p i n a migrant workers whose p r i o r m i g r a t i o n experiences m a k e C a n a d a s e e m l i k e paradise. T h e y are therefore m o r e prone to embrace the g o v e r n m e n t m a n t r a o f  Daiva K Stasiulis and Abigail B. Bakan. Regulation and Resistance: Strategies of Migrant Domestic Workers in Canada and Internationally. Asian and Pacific Migration Journal, vol. 6, no. 1, 1997, at 53.  96  " b e n e v o l e n c e " a n d " c o m p a s s i o n " . H a n a H a v l i c e k , founder o f T o r o n t o ' s S e l e c t i v e P e r s o n n e l e m p l o y m e n t agency sums u p the F i l i p i n a s ' sentiment i n this w a y :  We get thousands of letters from Filipinas who want us to find them jobs in Canada because the working conditions are among the best in the world and they know that they can apply for citizenship here. 140  T h e d i s c u s s i o n i n this chapter s h o w s that w h i l e C a n a d a offers the best w o r k i n g c o n d i t i o n s to f o r e i g n d o m e s t i c w o r k e r s , it has yet to f u l l y a c k n o w l e d g e that there is a n e c o n o m i c n e e d to be m e t a n d that F i l i p i n a d o m e s t i c w o r k e r s w h o enjoy the least labor a n d m i g r a n t rights a m o n g w o r k e r s a n d i m m i g r a n t s c o m e to C a n a d a to f i l l that need. C a n a d a prides i t s e l f f o r b e i n g internationally k n o w n as a compassionate a n d humanitarian country. Y e t the c o n t i n u e d existence o f the t w o - y e a r l i v e - i n requirement a n d the two-year temporary status o f f o r e i g n d o m e s t i c w o r k e r s i n the L C P . attest otherwise. T h u s , this thesis argues that since Canada's r o l e as a forerunner o n contemporary international issues a n d the l i b e r a l i z a t i o n o f its l o c a l l a w s o n gender and sexual equality is renowned, it becomes anachronistic that a cluster o f Canada's i m m i g r a t i o n p o l i c i e s , collated into the present L C P . continues to advocate indentured f o r m o f labor a n d offers a w o r k i n g a n d s o c i a l e n v i r o n m e n t l a c k i n g i n h u m a n a n d m i g r a n t rights a n d d e v o i d o f a n e q u i t a b l e e m p l o y e r - e m p l o y e e relationship. M o r e i m p o r t a n t l y , the L C P is p r o o f o f h o w the P h i l i p p i n e s as a sending country o f migrant workers a n d C a n a d a as their host country initiate the u n b a l a n c e d relationship o n a state l e v e l , thereby p a v i n g the w a y for a s i m i l a r a n d u n e q u a l setting between F i l i p i n a d o m e s t i c w o r k e r s a n d their C a n a d i a n e m p l o y e r s . C a n a d a fails to measure u p to its i n t e r n a t i o n a l c o m m i t m e n t s as the p o l i c i e s o f the L C P do not c o m p l e m e n t  1 4 0  Canada's  Supra, note 103. 97  international character as a peacekeeping, i m m i g r a n t - f r i e n d l y country. T h e L C P continues to act as a gatekeeper for Canada's i m m i g r a t i o n p o l i c i e s .  T h u s , w i t h i n Canada's  i n c r e a s i n g r e c o g n i t i o n a n d e r a d i c a t i o n o f race a n d  gender-based  inequalities, particularly i n the enactment o f the C a n a d i a n Charter o f R i g h t s a n d F r e e d o m s , the L C P appears a t y p i c a l o f Canada's c i v i l l i b e r t a r i a n advances. It is i r o n i c that a c o u n t r y w h o s e federal g o v e r n m e n t a n d a l l p r o v i n c i a l governments have a M i n i s t e r or Secretary o f State r e s p o n s i b l e for the status o f w o m e n s h o u l d disregard the female m i g r a n t w o r k e r s ' situation. C a n a d a is i n a unique p o s i t i o n , b o t h as a traditional i m m i g r a n t s ' c o u n t r y a n d as a n international player, to blaze the trail for international r e c o g n i t i o n o n the i m p o r t a n c e o f international female labor m i g r a t i o n . T o do this, C a n a d a must eliminate the double standards i n the L C P vis-a-vis the general i m m i g r a t i o n p o l i c i e s o f Canada. Therefore, it is argued that i n order to m a i n t a i n the h i g h m a r k s it has been r e c e i v i n g at the international l e v e l , C a n a d a m u s t e l i m i n a t e t w o requirements o f the L C P : F i r s t , the two-year  l i v e - i n requirement a n d second, the t e m p o r a r y m i g r a n t status  o f L I C s u p o n i n i t i a l entry to C a n a d a . L i v e - i n w o r k m u s t be o p t i o n a l a n d not subject to the granting o f permanent residence status. I n fact, foreign domestic w o r k e r s s h o u l d be r e c r u i t e d as i n d e p e n d e n t i m m i g r a n t s under o p e n permits since their w o r k s k i l l s are i n constant d e m a n d . S i m u l t a n e o u s l y , the C a n a d i a n i m m i g r a t i o n m e c h a n i s m must accept the fact that the l a b o r s k i l l s L I C s offer w i l l c o n t i n u e to be i n d e m a n d . O n l y t h e n are a l l f o r m s a n d structures p r o m o t i n g indentured l a b o r a n d r a c i a l l y tainted i m m i g r a t i o n p o l i c i e s erased.  T o preserve its international reputation, C a n a d a m u s t also m a k e reforms o n the international level.  Studies suggest that f o r g i n g a n international consensus o n the m i g r a n t p h e n o m e n o n  proves futile a n d that instead, the root causes o f m i g r a t i o n s h o u l d be addressed. H o w e v e r , other studies report o n the need for increased bilateral a n d m u l t i l a t e r a l a i d between host a n d s e n d i n g countries a n d for observance o f international l a b o r s t a n d a r d s .  141  C a n a d a c a n address the issues  b y ratifying a n d i m p l e m e n t i n g international conventions. S p e c i f i c a l l y , T h e U N C o n v e n t i o n o n the R i g h t s o f A l l M i g r a n t W o r k e r s a n d M e m b e r s o f T h e i r F a m i l i e s has b e e n s i g n e d thus far b y eight member-countries, i n c l u d i n g the P h i l i p p i n e s . T h e c o n v e n t i o n needs 2 0 signatures i n order to be ratified. C a n a d a w o u l d be the first host country to s i g n the C o n v e n t i o n w h i c h has been a d o p t e d a n d o p e n e d for signature since 1990. T h e s i g n i f i c a n c e o f the U N C o n v e n t i o n o n the P r o t e c t i o n o f the R i g h t s o f A l l M i g r a n t W o r k e r s a n d M e m b e r s o f T h e i r F a m i l i e s lies i n its comprehensive approach to migrant workers a n d their rights. It v i e w s migrant w o r k e r s as h u m a n b e i n g s a n d not mere e c o n o m i c inputs. It addresses f a m i l y r e u n i f i c a t i o n issues a n d the r i g h t o f m e m b e r s o f m i g r a n t w o r k e r f a m i l i e s , as w e l l as those o f u n d o c u m e n t e d w o r k e r s . D u r i n g the drafting o f this C o n v e n t i o n , the tension between labor-sending and labor-receiving countries w a s apparent. T h e former pushed for m a x i m u m p r o t e c t i o n for m i g r a n t w o r k e r s , the latter w i s h e d to reduce p o l i t i c a l a n d e c o n o m i c costs.  B i l a t e r a l treaties between C a n a d a a n d the P h i l i p p i n e s w o u l d assist the latter c o u n t r y i n its attempts to extend welfare a n d protective mechanisms w i t h i n host countries o f F i l i p i n o m i g r a n t  Female Asian Migrants: A Growing But Increasingly Vulnerable Workforce. International Labour Organization 1996 Press releases. Monday, 5 February, 1996 (ILO/96/1). 1 4 1  99  w o r k e r s . T h i s extraterritorial reach o f P h i l i p p i n e welfare a n d protection m e c h a n i s m s are l e g a l l y j u s t i f i e d t h r o u g h the P h i l i p p i n e s ' inherent right to the exercise o f p o l i c e p o w e r . T h i s i s n o t regarded as a n infringement o f i n d i v i d u a l s o c i a l and e c o n o m i c h u m a n rights. Rather, it is v i e w e d as a necessity i n the P h i l i p p i n e labor export m o v e m e n t i n the face o f the P h i l i p p i n e s ' d e v e l o p i n g e c o n o m y a n d non-welfare state. A recent study posits that extraterritorial l a w s l i k e those o f the P h i l i p p i n e s are d o o m e d t o f a i l :  There is an absence of international legitimacy, authority and resources for laborexporting countries to extend extraterritorial  protection to their overseas workers.  It is therefore the laws, policies, and customary practices of the  labor-importing  society that will prevail in determining the conditions and protections available migrant domestic workers...  for  [T]here is clearly an overall pattern in which domestic  workers are subjected to greater and more exceptional levels of restriction to most other categories of workers and immigrants .  It i s a r g u e d that w h i l e the above  relative  U 1  o b s e r v a t i o n is v a l i d , i t u n n e c e s s a r i l y assumes  that  extraterritorial p r o t e c t i o n i s meant to supersede the l a w s o f the host country. R a t h e r , the p r o t e c t i o n a i m s to c o m p l e m e n t that o f the host country. T h u s , the P h i l i p p i n e i s one o f the f e w c o u n t r i e s that has a l a b o r desk a n d welfare center attached t o its embassies o r consulates. Nevertheless, the recent cases o f the h a n g i n g o f F l o r C o n t e m p l a c i o n i n S i n g a p o r e a n d the near e x e c u t i o n o f Sarah B a l a b a g a n i n the U n i t e d A r a b E m i r a t e s p r o v e h o w enforcement o f P h i l i p p i n e l a w s becomes almost i m p o s s i b l e i n host countries that w i l l understandably a p p l y their o w n laws. T h u s , the answer to the P h i l i p p i n e s ' inability to enforce its laws i n another country m a y l i e i n the p u r s u i t o f international treaties a n d bilateral agreement, o r state-to-state agreements w i t h host countries.  Supra, note 139, at 43.  142  100  B.  Conclusion  A s i a n w o m e n m a k e u p the fastest g r o w i n g category o f the w o r l d ' s p o p u l a t i o n o f m i g r a n t w o r k e r s . T h e fact that one out o f every t w o international m i g r a n t s i n the w o r l d is a w o m a n j u s t i f i e s the p l e t h o r a o f studies made regarding the e m p l o y m e n t a n d m i g r a t i o n experiences o f w o m e n . T h e thesis seeks to contribute to that literature w i t h particular focus o n F i l i p i n a domestic workers i n British C o l u m b i a , Canada.  T h e P h i l i p p i n e migrant labor p h e n o m e n o n is about the exodus o f w o r k e r s from the P h i l i p p i n e s i n search f o r a better l i f e a n d a brighter future. T h e P h i l i p p i n e g o v e r n m e n t f a i l e d to r e a l i z e the real impetus or refused to address the root causes o f migration. Instead, its focus w a s o n t u r n i n g the export o f migrant labor into a profitable scheme. W h e r e m o r e s i g n i f i c a n t l a w s w e r e needed the government m e r e l y p r o d u c e d delayed legislative reactions to the latest controversies. E v e n the latest legislative effort, the M i g r a n t W o r k e r s A c t , was o n l y i n reaction to the C o n t e m p l a c i o n incident i n Singapore.  I n the total picture o f P h i l i p p i n e labor m i g r a t i o n C a n a d a o c c u p i e s the favorite d e s t i n a t i o n f o r F i l i p i n a domestic workers. T h e P h i l i p p i n e s w e l c o m e s Canada's benevolence a n d e c o n o m i c need i n a c c e p t i n g its female m i g r a n t w o r k e r s . B u t as discussed, the L C P w h i c h is  Canada's  i m m i g r a t i o n p r o g r a m for f o r e i g n domestic w o r k e r s is not o n l y d i s s i m i l a r to f o r e i g n w o r k e r p o l i c i e s o f other host countries, it is also discordant w i t h the o v e r a l l c i v i l libertarian development  101  o f C a n a d i a n legislation a n d constitutional guarantees. W i t h a d v a n c e d l e g a l concepts o n gender a n d s e x u a l e q u a l i t y entrenched i n a n egalitarian society the L C P is a n unfortunate l e g a c y o f Canada's not-so-distant racist past.  T h e latest I m m i g r a t i o n L e g i s l a t i v e R e v i e w calls for the e l i m i n a t i o n o f the L C P a n d the r e c l a s s i f i c a t i o n o f f o r e i g n d o m e s t i c w o r k e r s as independent i m m i g r a n t s , thereby freeing t h e m o f the l i v e - i n requirement a n d o f the two-year temporary status. W h i l e the r e c o m m e n d a t i o n seems c o m m e n d a b l e a n d i n l i n e w i t h the arguments presented i n this thesis, it m u s t be v i e w e d together w i t h the other 154 r e c o m m e n d a t i o n s o n the I m m i g r a t i o n A c t a n d w i t h the general r e c o m m e n d a t i o n o f d i v i d i n g the I m m i g r a t i o n A c t into t w o separate l e g i s l a t i o n . W h a t is important, i n the f i n a l analysis, is that f o r e i g n d o m e s t i c w o r k e r s enter C a n a d a w i t h e q u a l l a b o r rights a n d f u l l - f l e d g e d m i g r a n t status as other m e m b e r s o f society.  102  Bibliography 1987 P h i l i p p i n e C o n s t i t u t i o n .  A g e n c e France Press, " F i l i p i n o W o r k e r s i n A s i a up i n '97", Philippine Daily Inquirer, A p r i l 13, 1998.  A l b u r o , F l o r i a n A . 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