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PH Maids in HK Seek Direct Hiring as Recruitment Agencies Demand Placement Fees
Filipino domestic workers in Hong Kong want the Philippine government to lift the ban on the direct hiring of Filipino domestic workers abroad.
According to a statement from the United Filipinos in Hong Kong (Unifil), Filipino household service workers in the territory will troop Wednesday, to the Philippine Consulate General to express their demand.
The United Filipinos in Hong Kong (Unifil-Migrante-HK), the organization leading the picket protest, stated that returning the direct hiring as an option to remove a threat to the livelihood of Filipino domestic workers, especially those processing their papers now.
This demand by Filipino domestic workers comes at a time when recruitment agencies from Hong Kong and the Philippines are fighting over the placement fees being charged to the Filipino domestic workers.
According to Unifil, the Philippines-based recruitment agencies want the Philippine government to allow them to charge the workers placement fees while letting the Hong Kong-based agencies to determine fees on their own.
“In the middle of this still-unresolved ‘brawl,’ Filipino domestic workers are being wrongfully blamed and used as scapegoats by agencies, especially those based in HK. Such baseless accusations are only fodder for the anti-migrant sentiments being fanned by many entities in Hong Kong,” it added.
Recently, the Society of Hong Kong Accredited Recruiters of the Philippines (SHARP), the Philippines-based agencies, imposed a moratorium on sending domestic workers to Hong Kong as it complained of the overly strict and unreasonable government regulations.
SHARP said that its move to declare a moratorium on the hiring and placement of household service workers (HSW) to Hong Kong, was aimed at “addressing the problems besetting the labor market and enhancing the protection and welfare of our workers.”
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