MANILA — Diplomatic officers assigned abroad are no longer allowed to bring domestic staff to their overseas posts, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. revealed Tuesday, following the maltreatment of a Filipino household help by the former Philippine Ambassador to Brazil.
"DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs) no longer allows domestic staff to go with officers assigned abroad. They must apply to POEA (Philippine Overseas Employment Administration). I ceded full authority to it," Locsin said in a tweet Tuesday.
On Monday, President Rodrigo Duterte said he has approved the dismissal of former Philippine Ambassador to Brazil Marichu Mauro from service, months after she was caught maltreating her Filipino domestic helper inside her residence there.
According to Locsin, thePOEA has "safeguards" in place to protect Filipino domestic helpers, adding that the Mauro case "cannot happen again."
"POEA sets $400 or $600 as minimum salary deposited in domestic's bank account plus other safeguards. It cannot happen again," Locsin said.
Mauro made headlines last November after Brazil's Globo News exposed the ambassador's repeated assault of her 51-year-old Filipina helper inside her diplomatic residence.
The incidents were captured by a security camera and documented by employees who declined to be identified. The report said the victim “was physically assaulted many times, many days.”
In one of the videos, Mauro was seen slapping the victim, but stopped when another employee entered the house. The ambassador was also seen pulling the helper’s ear in another video, and hitting the helper with an umbrella in a separate incident.
Mauro was recalled from the post after the incident and was charged for the maltreatment.