Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Labor meeting in Manila seen to benefit Pinoy household helpers in HK

Filipino household service workers in Hong Kong may stand to benefit from a labor meeting between an HK legislator and labor officials in Manila early in August.

A group led by a Hong Kong Legislative Council (LegCo) member Emily Lau visited Manila to initiate dialogues with Labor officials to improve the working conditions of Filipino domestic workers in the territory.

Emily Lau said there should be a system in place whereby both the foreign household service workers and their employers benefit from the arrangement.

During their visit to Manila on Aug. 2-5, Lau  and the other members of the group met  with Labor Undersecretary Rebecca Chato, and senior officials of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, GMA News stringer in Hong Kong reported.

Lau said that during the meeting, POEA officials said the estimated legitimate expenses of domestic workers are around P15,000, including medical fees, passport fees, among others.

She said domestic workers should not come to Hong Kong heavily in debt.

"We want a system that is open, transparent, and fair," Lau said.

Manila is implementing a zero placement fee for domestic workers, while Hong Kong only allows recruitment agencies to charge 10 percent of the domestic worker's salary for the first month as placement fee.

However, domestic workers are frequently forced to pay additional placement fees under threat of losing their job placement.

It is estimated that some 200,000 households in Hong Kong employ foreign domestic workers. — LBG, GMA News

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