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China to hire Pinoy maids at US$2k, says PHL labor official

01 August 2017

Filipino maids in HK earn only a quarter of the
reported salary of their counterparts in China
China has reportedly taken the first steps to opening its doors to Filipino domestic workers at a monthly salary of nearly US$2,000.
This was according to Philippine Labor Undersecretary Dominador Say, who told newspaper reporters in the Philippines yesterday, July 31, that Chinese embassy officials had visited the Department of Labor and Employment to discuss the matter.
The initial deployment will reportedly be limited to five major cities in China, including the capital, Beijing, Shanghai and Xiamen.
However, reports in Hong Kong indicate Shanghai has already allowed foreign residents to hire foreign domestic workers as early as July 2015. The first FDW to be hired was reportedly a Filipino, who was paid US$1,000 a month.
USec Say said that the Chinese delegation was “looking at the possibility of a Php1000,000 monthly pay” for the FDWs to be hired.
He also said a delegation from China will visit the country in September for further negotiations on the matter.
Philippine Labor Attache to Hong Kong Jalilo dela Torre told The SUN he has not been officially informed about the Chinese delegation’s visit.
His office has long been besieged with complaints from Filipina domestic workers who are brought into China by their Hong Kong employers to work there illegally.
On July 24, a Filipina hired in Hong Kong reportedly fell from a building in Shenzhen, two days after her employers took her back in the city for a holiday. The helper’s kin said the Filipina maid resented being brought there and had planned to break her contract.
Interviewed separately by the South China Morning Post, Say reportedly said he could not remember the name of the leader of the Chinese delegation, but that “he should be a commercial counselor, who came for his research.”
He also told SCMP that China was looking at hiring 100,000 FDWs every month, but that would include not just Filipinos, but also workers from other countries.
Say told reporters in Manila that the reason the Chinese want to hire Filipinos is because of the latter’s English proficiency. Say also said the Filipinos are seen to be “peaceful” compared to other nationalities.
The Chinese visitors also reportedly mentioned improving ties with President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration for the decision to hire Filipinos instead of other nationals.
“They will not have approached us if they are not serious with their desire to hire Filipinos,” Say reportedly said.
He said labor officials would wait for the outcome of the September meeting with the Chinese delegation to determine when the deployment can start.
During an earlier visit to China, Philippine Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello IIII said an estimated 200,000 Filipino domestic workers were working illegally on the mainland.
China does not allow foreigners to take up jobs in the country as domestic workers, so most of the illegal workers enter on tourist visas that allow them to stay up to 14 days each time. Others manage to secure business visas which cost more but allow them to stay longer.
Those who overstay their visas face fines of between 5,000 and 20,000 yuan (US$743-2,973), and in the more serious cases, even imprisonment of between five and 15 days. – from reports in Manila and Hong Kong

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