P100,000 Wage for Filipino Domestic Helpers in China?

Discussions are ongoing that will pave the way for Filipino domestic helpers to work in major cities in China and get paid around P100,000, according to Philippine Star.

However, this has been quashed by a Philippine Labor official, citing the report was not true.

Citing the Philippine Department of Labor and Employment, the Philippine Star reported that the relatively generous pay would only be available in five cities, including Beijing, Shanghai and Xiamen. Philippine labor officials have already met with staff of the Chinese embassy in Manila, and a delegation from the mainland will be visiting next month for further talks.

Chinese employers are said to prefer Filipino workers because they are “peaceful” and fluent in English, which could help young Chinese children in their studies, said Dominador Say, undersecretary for the Department of Labor and Employment. Say added that the report on P100,000 salary offered by mainland Chinese employers to foreign domestic workers is incorrect.

Cynthia Tellez, general manager of the Mission for Migrant Workers, said higher pay could spur helpers to look beyond Hong Kong. She, however, warned of uncertain working conditions in China, and how long it could take to resolve labor issues remains unclear. She pointed out that despite employing foreign domestic workers for years, Hong Kong is still grappling with labor-related problems.

She advised that potential workers should learn more about labor and migrant rights and culture in China before making any decisions.

Teresa Liu Tsui-lan, managing director of Technic Employment Service Centre, said a scheme for foreign helpers to be hired in the mainland was in place last year but is only available to certain people, including workers hired from Hong Kong.

Liu also doubted the publicized pay as high as claimed since foreign domestics in the mainland can presently earn about 6,000 yuan (P44,979) a month.

Eman Villanueva, a spokesman for the Asian Migrants Coordinating Body in Hong Kong, said Filipinos would surely choose mainland China if they were offered HK$15,500 a month.

“But if the wages in Hong Kong and mainland China are similar, there is no incentive for job seekers to choose the mainland unless the working conditions are better there,” he said. “I am not saying no one will be going to work on the mainland, but if you are already working in Hong Kong, you may choose to stay here.”