Chinese families may soon be able to hire Filipino maids

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Philippine Labor Undersecretary Dominador Say (inset) says Filipino maids may soon be able to make nearly US$2,000 a month in some cities in China. Photos: Wikimedia Commons, Facebook

Filipino domestic workers will be allowed to work legally in five mainland Chinese cities, earning about 100,000 Philippine pesos (US$1,980) a month, if the Philippine and Chinese governments can strike a deal on a labor arrangement later this year.

Chinese Embassy officials in Manila had contacted the Philippine Department of Labor and Employment to discuss the possibility of deploying Filipino maids to five Chinese cities, including Beijing, Shanghai and Xiamen, Labor Undersecretary Dominador Say was quoted as saying in The Philippine Star.

Chinese families are looking at the possibility of offering the domestic helpers 100,000 pesos a month, Say said. China will send a delegation to the Philippines in September to discuss the matter.

Say added that Chinese families wanted to hire Filipino maids because of their English proficiency, which would allows them to help improve the language skills of the employers’ children. Also, Filipinos are peaceful people, he said.

According to Chinese newspapers, there are currently about 100,000 Filipino domestic workers in that country, but they are working illegally with business visas rather than work permits in key cities such as Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. They are not entitled to the protection of insurance schemes and labor law at the moment.

In April, a 44-year-old Filipino woman became the first foreign domestic helper granted a one-year residence permit in Shanghai but a nationwide scheme to allow foreign domestic workers to work legally in China has not been launched.

The average wage of Filipino maids is about 8,000 yuan (US$1,190) in Shanghai and 6,000 yuan in Guangzhou, compared with HK$4,310 (US$552) in Hong Kong, S$570 (US$420) in Singapore and NT$17,500 (US$579) in Taiwan. 

Read: Shanghai first mainland city to grant visas to maids

Update: Maids, labor groups raise concerns about China market

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