03-20-2012, 12:01 AM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Filipino au pairs free to leave Philippines
By Jerome Aning
Philippine Daily Inquirer
March 19th, 2012
The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Sunday said it had ordered its personnel at all ports nationwide to facilitate the “unhampered” exit of au pairs bound for Europe after the Philippine government lifted the ban on their deployment.
Immigration Commissioner Ricardo David Jr. said he issued a memorandum directing immigration officers at airports and seaports to implement the new guidelines on the departure of au pairs to Europe beginning Monday.
An au pair is an unmarried person between 18 and 30 years old who, under a cultural exchange arrangement, has been picked to stay with a European host family to enable him or her to learn the culture and language of the European country.
The reciprocal arrangement provides that he or she shall live with the host family at par (au pair) or on an equal terms and shall be given pocket money and share in the child care, light household chores and responsibilities as stipulated in the placement contract.
In his memorandum, David said the implementation of the new guidelines was deferred to make adjustments for those who were still unaware of the lifting of the policy. He also said that beginning Monday, the required documents to be presented at the immigration counters have been simplified.
These documents include a contract of engagement or letter of undertaking executed by the au pair and the host family duly authenticated by the Philippine embassy or consulate in the European country.
The au pair shall also present a valid passport with a valid au pair visa to the country of destination and a certificate from the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) indicating that he or she had attended a familiarization seminar about the European country conducted by the commission.
David said that au pairs were no longer required to get exit permits from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration as they were not considered overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
Last month, the Department of Foreign Affairs announced the lifting of the ban on au pairs to Europe which was imposed in 1998 due to isolated cases of abuse of the scheme as well as racial and economic discrimination.
The new guidelines were drafted by a technical working group composed of representatives from the foreign, labor and education departments, POEA, BI and CFO.