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Saudi approves minimum wage for Philippine maids

MANILA -- Saudi Arabia has agreed to a US$400 monthly minimum wage for Filipina maids, a year after a row over the issue halted the entry of such workers, Philippines officials said Thursday.

Philippine Vice President Jejomar Binay, who oversees the welfare of Filipino overseas workers, said in a statement that the kingdom had agreed to lift its ban on Filipino workers, imposed in June 2011.

“More than the lifting of the ban, I find the decision of the Saudi government to increase the mandated salary for our household service workers further proof of a shared commitment to protect (their) welfare,” he added.

Binay's spokesman Joey Salgado later confirmed that Saudi Arabia had agreed to the US$400 minimum monthly wage that the Philippines had been asking for its maids — one of the key issues that led to the ban being imposed.

Saudi Arabia is a major employer of Filipinos, with 1.2 million working there as laborers, technicians, salesgirls and domestic helpers.

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