PH maids in HK seek direct hiring as recruitment agencies demand placement fees


MANILA, Philippines—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.”

“In Hong Kong, our main and critical problem is the very high cost of recruitment. We cannot totally dispense with it because the prevailing market condition does not allow us to do so,” SHARP said.

It explained that for the past 30 years, Hong Kong employers have not been paying the total recruitment and deployment costs as they should.

“This is a market reality. In fact, many of our counterpart recruitment agencies in the territory have been very vocal in their complaint that employers are paying them less and less, forcing them to pass on some of the costs of doing business to migrant workers,” it added.

But according to Unifil, the claims of SHARP are but empty rhetoric only meant to cover up of the crimes committed by recruiters against OFWs, and self-serving demands to ensure profits for the recruitment agencies.

“Even before the implementation of the POEA Guidelines on Hiring of Filipino HSWs in 2006, recruitment agencies have perfected various modus operandi to exact the highest fee from applying OFWs,” the OFW group said.

After the ‘no placement fee’ provision was put in place, private recruiters circumvented the order by capitalizing on the training and certification requirements to charge the same – if not even more – fees to Filipino domestic workers, it added.

Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:

Inquirer Viber

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • shane oy

    Correct there is no reason why this agencies should exist. Ang bawat mamamayan ay may karapatan pumunta at magtrabaho sa alin man bansa na ninanais nila. Pamemera lang ang tanging punto ng bulok na employment agencies na yan. Abot langit ang pangingikil ng mga yan sa nagnanais magtrabaho sa labas ng bansa samantala wala naman talga silang ginagawa. Suportahan po natin ang hakbangin na ito ng mga OFW!!!

  • Manuel_II

    As an OFW, it would be better if there is an Agency who will be responsible for the workers whom they would send abroad.  It would also protect them from illegal recruiters since most agencies would be accredited by the POEA.   What the Government should do is to reduce or remove the placement fee and or it should be shoulder by the employer.

  • Klepto

    Proof na walang trabaho sa Pinas. Ang mayayaman lang sa Pinas ay mga pulitiko dahil magagaling sila sa pagnanakaw, iyot, at tsupa.

  • Ramon S

    Tama tama tama … yumayaman ang agency sa pinas “fly pay later strategy”that will cost 100k sa oman at hong.kong etc.including interest sa pera na aabot ng 30k interest plus application pay for loan na 8k. placement pay na 60k na kailangan mo pang mag iwan ng post dated check sa agency o sa ASIALINK NA NAGPAPAUTANG TIED UP NG AGENCY plus co – maker, PAYABLE in three months. Ok lang yung placement kung mababa yung babayaran na huwag e apply yung one month salary placement schemes dahil yun daw ang sabi ng batas, ewan ko kung sino ang gumawa nito 1985 pa salary noon 25k, kung ngayon salary mo 60k,process mo sa papers mo 20k plus umutang ka ASIALINK  interest aabot ng 30k. kung makaalis ka man you need a minimum  of 100k…. tulad ng mga teacher sa Oman gastos bago maka alis 120k.. sobra

  • Ramon S

    Correct Correct… sinasamantala ng mga agency ang option ng mga pinoy to go abroad..dahil lumalaki na sahod ngayon doon sila kumikita sa old law na kailangan ano yung one month salary mo yun din babayaran mo sa kanila ito ang maling batas ngayon na ginagamit ng mga agency na dapat mabago at makita ng mga mambabatas at ng OWWA.

  • leonguinto

    Saludo ako sa mga FDW’s, pero sana dumating ang panahon na hindi nyo na kailanganing mang ibang bansa.

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


editors' picks




latest videos