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Palace shrugs off Singaporean’s demand for separate bus for Filipino maids

/ 07:39 PM March 07, 2014

Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Malacañang would rather not make an issue over a supposed letter on a website seeking for a separate bus for Filipino domestic helpers in Singapore.

“I don’t want to respond to this primarily because that’s one person and we don’t want this to become A-versus-B sort of issue,” deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said at a televised press briefing on Friday.

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Valte was asked if she finds discriminatory the letter posted onthe website “The Real Singapore” that tells of the commuting woes of one Singaporean identified as “H.”

The letter sender said when he/she rode a bus, “90 percent” of passengers are Filipino “maids” who talk “so loud in the bus.”

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Valte remained confident, however, that Filipinos in Singapore follow the laws in the country.

“I’ve been to other places as well and we do tend to observe proper comportment and behavior,” she said.

In the letter, “H” wrote that the Filipino domestic helpers “push to board the bus” and that the Singaporeans will have to take another bus or will be forced to stand due to the number of passengers.

“Their voice were just as loud as thunderstorm (I believe many Singaporeans experience this before. Once a group of [Filipinos] boarded a bus or train, your resting time on your journey back home is gone),” the letter sender wrote.

“There’s nothing wrong [with cracking a] joke and chit chat in the bus as Sunday is only their off day, however, they should be a little bit more considerate by caring for other passengers too,” the writer added.

The writer went on to suggest that the Singapore’s Public Transport Council should provide a private bus for Filipino domestic helpers as the “current situation is extremely bad (too crowded in buses and trains along Orchard road even on Sunday morning and evening!)”

At the bottom of the letter, an editor’s note read “Please do not stereotype the entire nationality just because of a few bad eggs.”

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“You can see that a majority of the maids here in Singapore are just trying to seek a better life for their family…. They would also need a break from their hectic rush of life just like any other Singaporeans need a break,” the note said.

“We should not vent our frustration and unhappiness about our overcrowded environment on these foreigners,” it added.

The website identifies itself as a “free online platform and a user-generated content site for all Singaporeans to express themselves freely and without any form of censorship.”

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TAGS: Abigail Valte, Discrimination, Domestic Helpers, Malacañang, OFW, Singapore
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