Lawmakers approve measure requiring translation of OFW contracts to local dialects

The House of Representatives approved on third and final reading a measure that will require the translation in Filipino or in any local dialect the employment contract of the Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW). “The translation of the employment contract shall include the condition of his employment, the compensation and benefits, period of employment, working hours, health and safety issues, among others,” OFW Family Representative Juan Johnny R. Revilla said.

Revilla noted that there have been many cases of misunderstanding, misinterpretation, confusion and eventual conflict between recruitment agencies, labor providers or direct hiring foreign employers and OFWs on issues of their condition of employment as stated in the employment contracts which is written in English or the language of the host country.

“An OFW who is not well versed in the English language is usually at a disadvantage as the employment contracts are usually interpreted in the language that an OFW has difficulty comprehending,” Revilla said.

A fine of P25,000 shall be imposed on any recruitment agency, employment agency, labor provider or direct hire foreign employer who will violate the provisions of the proposed act.

The measure mandates all recruitment agencies, employment agencies, labor providers or direct-hire foreign employers to provide a parallel translation in the Filipino language or in any of the major Philippine regional or indigenous language that the Filipino worker understands, of the employment contract and any of its annexes and attachments.