Recruiters to stop sending maids to Singapore

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AFP FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – An association of licensed recruiters has decided to stop sending household service workers to Singapore starting September to stamp out the practice of collecting “placement fees” from Filipinos seeking to work as domestics in the city-state.

Lucy Sermonia, president of Association of Licensed Recruitment Agencies to Singapore (ALRAS), said the group decided to impose a moratorium effective September 2 so that member agencies can convince erring members to follow the government policy of “non-collection” of placement fees.

Member agencies “will also  inform their Singapore counterparts that ALRAS members do not countenance the collection of placement fees or impose salary deductions on deployed HSWs (household serv ice workers) to Singapore,” Sermonia said in a statement.

She said the group’s general assembly on Friday, attended by 120 out of 130 members, arrived at the decision to implement the moratorium to convince Singapore agencies that the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration does not allow the collection of placement fees.

“The members will present their stand to Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz next week, which expresses their seriousness with this stop in deployment by submitting signed affidavits from the members,” Sermonia said.

POEA Administrator Hans Cacdac, who was present during the ALRAS assembly, said the agency will not hesitate to impose sanctions on agencies violating the “no placement fee” policy.

Bureau of Immigration airport chief Bienvenido Castillo also promised to monitor and off-load suspected tourist workers bound for Singapore in order to prevent illegal recruitment syndicates from sending undocumented workers there.

Recruitment industry consultant Emmanuel Geslani said Singapore was the fifth ranking destination of domestic workers and the Philippines deployed around 14,500 domestic workers to the city-state in 2012.

“However, the number of tourist workers who were able to secure work visas from some Singapore agencies are double the number of  POEA processed workers,” Geslani said.

He added that there are around 150,000 domestic helpers in Singapore and the demand for such workers remains high.

“Singapore has a well developed economy with about 1.5 million expatriates working in all fields of their economy,” he said.

“After Taiwan imposed a ‘hiring freeze,’ which has affected 10,000 overseas Filipino workers  in Taiwan, Filipinos interested to work in Singapore as HSWs may have to wait a little longer for their chance as local agencies have declared a self-imposed moratorium,” Geslani said.

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  • CmdrAdobo

    Dont send maids to other countries. Create jobs at home.

    • pacmandu

      Tell that to our thieving politicians.

  • rightist

    Unfortunately banning domestic workers from seeking work abroad due to incidences of abuse will cause them to look for DH work and other work locally benefiting only the middle class and the rich. Filipinos are not the best employers of DHs and many of them will become victims of local abuse. Countries that do not help abused FDWs should be banned as a destination like some middle east countries but there are many countries that do provide ample rights and compensation to our FDWs such as some countries in Europe, HK, and Singapore.

  • philcitizen

    Akalain mo, isang buwan mong sahod na sana ay parang ipon mo ay mapupunta lang sa agency. Ikaw na nasa abroad at nagsasakripisyo, mapupunta lang ang isang buwan mong pinaghirapan sa mga lintik na agency na ito.

  • judefawley

    Maid, as if it is not derogatory enough, why just blatantly and truthfully call it SLAVE?

  • izakyakov

    DO NOT SEND DH TO OTHER COUNTRIES!!

  • tra6Gpeche

    Bakit kailangan pang magpunta sa ibang bansa upang magpa-alila lamang? Wala bang alam na trabaho ang mga Piipinong ito kung hindi ang magpabusabos at magpa-alipin sa kapwa nila tao?

  • eight_log

    Working abroad as maids is just a stepping stone for most … baka makapagasaw ka ng foreigner … baka makapunta ka sa iba pang bansa …like many maids from Singapore end up in Canada … some the US of A (trafficked or not) … masuwerte pa rin!!!! Can’t blame them … hinahanap ang swerte hindi hinihintay!!!! Sobrang malas lang talaga kung ang umabuso sa kanila ay yung mga taga DFA mismo … kaya hindi nila nakakalimutan ang magdel a ng rosario!!!!

  • pacmandu

    To our thieving politicians: Hindi na ba kayo nahihiya?

  • riza888

    Racist! The expat community is huge in Singapore, and considering everything the government does to attract foreign investments and citizens, it’s not going to change any time soon.

  • marivon

    Pathetic a**hole. Your language and manner of speaking speaks volume of your personality. Without expat workers you would still be a fishing village lah.

  • zymygy

    SINGAPORE — There has been “a significant upward trend” of theft cases on board Singapore-controlled aircraft in recent years, which led prosecutors yesterday to press for a 12-month jail term for a man convicted of such an offence.

    In 2011, only one individual was arrested for theft on board an aircraft. There was also one reported case that year. The total number of reported cases shot up to 43 last year, with 36 individuals being arrested. There have been 35 reported cases so far this year, with 26 individuals being nabbed.

    Apart from the surge in cases, prosecutors yesterday noted that one or more organised crime syndicates are targeting Singapore-controlled aircraft.

    In the latest case to come before the courts, Chinese national Yue Liangfu, 32, was convicted of stealing a brown trolley bag belonging to 69-year-old Cambodian Kuy Touch during a SilkAir flight from Singapore to Phnom Penh on June 8.

    Deputy Public Prosecutor Krystle Chiang yesterday sought a jail term of 12 months — a much stiffer sentence compared to its initial submission of 12 weeks in prison. She explained there has been “a significant upward trend” in such theft cases over the past two years.

    In March this year, Chinese national Wang Liwu, 47, was jailed for six weeks for stealing something from a laptop bag belonging to the boss of Mustafa Centre, Mr Mustaq Ahmad, during a flight from Phnom Penh to Singapore.

    Senior District Judge See Kee Oon noted the rising trend and accepted the prosecution’s new submissions.

    From his own experience, he said the courts have not given sentences exceeding three months for such offences. Thus, the Judge said he would review the sentencing benchmark as such cases are on the rise.

    Yue will be back in court on July 23, when he is expected to be sentenced. The highest penalty is a jail term of three years and a fine.

    When contacted, Singapore Airlines (SIA) and Jetstar said they have told their crew to remain vigilant and to alert the authorities of any suspicious behaviour on board flights.

    Passengers, too, are reminded to be alert and mindful of their belongings.

    “Just as on ground, they should constantly be alert and take necessary precautions to safeguard their belongings,” said an SIA spokesperson. Additional reporting by Sumita Sreedharan

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