Overseas Labor Office looking into Singapore’s ‘discount maids’
MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) is looking into the alleged practice of displaying Filipino domestic helpers in a mall in Singapore, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Monday.
“The POLO can refer the matter to the Singapore police if reports of maltreatment and abuse are validated,” DFA spokesman Charles Jose said in a press conference.
“The Philippine Government, in coordination with Singapore authorities, is ready to take all necessary steps to increase the protection of our Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in Singapore,” he said.
International news organization Al Jazeera reported about the plight of the domestic workers in “maid agencies” in Singapore and said that workers are made to sit beneath signs and posters that testify to their qualities, or advertise promo rates and discounts.
“These are legitimate agencies that are plying their business of supplying services to those in need of household service workers,” Jose said.
“That itself is not illegal, but we have to look into the manner in which they are promoting their business,” he said.
The recruitment practices of the agencies will also be investigated by the POLO.
Jose said that there are around 70,000 household service workers in Singapore out of the more than 180,000 Filipinos there.
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