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New arrivals boost Filipino DH population in HK to nearly 220,000

26 January 2020

By Vir B. Lumicao

Filipinos account for 55% of the total foreign domestic helper population in Hong Kong 

Hong Kong attracted 8,176 more domestic helpers from the Philippines for the whole of last year, lifting their total number to 219,073 by the end of last December.

This accounted for nearly 55% of Hong Kong's total foreign domestic helper population of 399,320 by the year’s end.

Immigration figure also show that the number of Indonesian domestic helpers, the second biggest ethnic group, also rose by about 5,000, to a total figure of 170,828.
The increase in arrivals of Filipino helpers was recorded despite a big number being dismissed by employers or breaking their contracts for various reasons, a welfare officer at the Philippine Overseas Labor Office has said.

Marivic C. Clarin said that she personally handled more than 2,000 contract terminations or non-renewals from June to December last year.
She said 700 or about a third of these cases were initiated by workers, 324 of whom broke their contracts while the rest did not renew contracts. Two-thirds were done by employers, of whom 45% cited severance as the reason, while 55% were performance-related.

In the severance cases, the reasons cited for the redundancy were: the employer died or relocated; there was no more need for the helper as her ward had grown up; and financial reasons like job loss.

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But technically, she said these should not be considered as terminations because the workers didn’t have to go back home to re-apply for jobs through agencies but were allowed to stay in Hong Kong to process new work contracts.

Foreign Domestic Helpers Population in Hong Kong

As at the end of Month/Year
Philippines
Indonesia
Thailand
Other nationalities
Total number for all nationalities
Dec 2018
210,897
165,907
4,502
4,769
386,075
Dec 2019
219,073
170,828
4,771
4,648
399,320


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