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OFW population surge slows down

03 December 2020

By Vir B. Lumicao 

More Filipino DHs could lose their jobs as the pandemic continues to batter the economy
 

Growth in the Filipino domestic helper population in Hong Kong slowed in November with only 534 arrivals, after a marked rebound in the previous two months.

Statistics from the Hong Kong Immigration showed that the number of Filipino helpers increased to 208,677 last month from 208,143 in October.

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As of the end of both September and October, the increase averaged around 2,500, for a total of 5,120 additional FDHs.

But the third successive month of increase is just about half of the more than 11,000 jobs lost since January this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This was due partly to Manila’s decision to stop OFWs from leaving the country for nearly three months.

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Indonesians, the next biggest group of domestic workers in Hong Kong, grew in number by just 63, to 158,614 as the government in Jakarta has just started allowing its workers to leave the country again, after a deliberate slowdown in deployment earlier.

The economic backlash of the pandemic hurt many employers, who saw their businesses tumble, lost their own jobs, or took substantial salary cuts, making them cost-sensitive.

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A worsening fourth wave of the pandemic that is stalling government efforts to revive the local economy could indirectly impact deployment from the Philippines as families tighten their belts and forgo the luxury of hiring a helper.

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But industry insiders say the full impact of any slowdown in hiring won’t be felt until early next month because the processing of work documents of Filipino workers from home take at least three months now.


Foreign Domestic Helpers Population in Hong Kong

 

At end of Month/Year

Philippines

Indonesia

India

Other nationalities

Total -- all nationalities

Jan-20

219,728

170,898

4,838

4,657

400,121

Feb-20

217,654

171,291

4,857

4,619

398,421

Mar-20

218,002

170,318

4,818

4,594

397,732

Apr-20

215,061

167,747

4,723

4,493

392,024

May-20

212,855

165,377

4,664

4,446

387,342

Jun-20

211,426

164,528

 

9,052

385,006

Jul-20

209 512

161 762

4 522

4 379

380 175

Aug-20

204 023

157 337

4 360

4 245

369 965

Sep-20

206,395

157,873

4,353

4,248

372,869

Oct-20

208,143

158,551

4,392

4,290

375,376

Nov-20

208,677

158,614

4,418

4,279

375,988

 

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