MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine government is looking into lifting the ban on “au pair” program in other European countries.
“We are in the process of reviewing the au pair program in order to facilitate proper guidelines and policies on departure and monitoring,” said Vice President Jejomar Binay.
Binay, who is also the Presidential Adviser on Overseas Filipino Workers, believes that the program would bring employment opportunities to Filipinos particularly those affected by the political unrest in the Middle East.
“Au pair” is a French term that translates to “on par” or “equal to”. Filipinos under the au pair program “live on an equal basis in a reciprocal, caring relationship” with their host families, according to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
The intent is for the foreigner to be at par or equal to locals, by being treated as a member of the family instead of a domestic servant.
Au pairs perform house work and child care and receive monetary allowance from their host families.
The country had stopped deploying au pairs to Europe in 1997 after receiving reports of maltreatment, including unfair compensation, excessive working hours, discrimination and sexual assault.
The ban on the program was lifted in October 2010 in Switzerland, Norway and Denmark after the said countries guaranteed to protect au pairs and follow the conditions of the Philippine government for their deployment.