Despite new locations such as China, Russia and Japan opening up better paying opportunities for Filipino domestic workers and housekeepers, Hong Kong remains as the best destination, a Filipino recruitment industry leader said.
Alfredo Palmiery, head of the Society of Hong Kong Accredited Recruiters of the Philippines, said working in Hong Kong had its distinct advantages. He foresees that many workers would still choose Hong Kong,
“What I see is that, once even China is open, still many will come to Hong Kong because it is still the best destination for Philippine workers,” Palmiery said in an interview by Hong Kong News.
Palmiery said the working conditions other countries like Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei “do not compare” to those in Hong Kong. The better working condition extends beyond the employer-employee relationship is the difference maker.
“You can see the government cooperation with the Philippine government, the enforcement of laws, the handling of complaints,” Palmiery said.
“These things are not found in other countries. So, I allayed their (the local agencies) fears that they will have a problem with the supply. Still, there will be plenty who would be coming to Hong Kong,” he added.
In November, Beijing has revealed it is planning to hire some 10,000 fomestic workers for expats based in the mainland China’s large cities such as Beijing and Shanghai as well as Guangdong province, according to Philippine Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno.
“In fact, the fear of some people is that those who are working now in Hong Kong will now transfer to China because the terms will be much, much higher,” Diokno said in a media forum. Workers are expected to receive higher wages as their placement will be made through a government-to-government arrangement, bypassing traditional recruitment agencies who charge fees to process job documentation.
In July 2017, then Philippine Labor Undersecretary Dominador Say said Chinese embassy officials in Manila were looking at the possibility that Filipino domestic helpers could earn up to HKD$15,000 in mainland China.
In April, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said Manila expected to deploy up to 300,000 more OFWs to China.
There were an estimated 200,000 OFWs currently working in the mainland, he added.