As we all know, an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) is a person who lives or work outside of the Philippines; as citizens of Filipino origin for a definite period. The largest group of more than 2 million OFWs deployed around the world is domestic or household service workers (HSW). Most of them are females; who can either be single or a mother who left their own children to take care of someone else’s children houses. Other tasks include:
- Taking care of the elderly
- Laundry and ironing
- Shopping for food and;
- Other household errands
The Philippines Overseas Employment Agency (POEA) gathered data of 2015, the latest to date and shows that out of the 515,217 total new hires in 2015 based on top jobs category, the number of household service workers is the largest with 194,835 total deployments.
Most of them are deployed in the Middle East particularly Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and the UAE. Another favorite destination for our HSWs is Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia. What could be the reason why many OFWs choose to be HSWs in spite of the growing number of maltreated OFWs especially in the Middle East?
The lives of stay-in worker is not easy. However, applying for the HSW job is perhaps the easiest. There are always major adjustments that could be difficult at first. These includes new set of rules to obey which are imposed by the employers; the change of surroundings; being away from families; homesickness; and loneliness. While these sudden changes are constantly complicated to deal with what’s good here is it doesn’t require any high educational attainment, experience, and skills but having these could be an advantage.
The placement fee is also waived by the POEA. However, there are reports of some recruitment agencies collecting fees from them to be able to be deployed immediately.
How much is the salary of household jobs in different countries around the world?
Here’s a survey about the various earnings based on the actual minimum wage received by OFW HSWs on monthly basis on different parts of the world:
- Bahrain – The usual salary for Filipino Domestic helper working in Bahrain is around BHD160 ( P21,376+)
- Brunei – Most Filipino domestic workers in Brunei are earning US$400 (P20, 000+)
- China – The salary ranges for Filipino domestic helper in China is from 4,500 to 6,000 Yuan (P 33,000+ – P45, 000+)
- Cyprus – HSWs working in Cyprus earn from 314 to 400 Euros per month (P18, 000+ – P23, 000+)
- Canada – An HSW could earn around C$14.44 (P570+) per hour
- Dubai – HSWs in Dubai salary earning depends on the employer and the length of your service. They earn around 1,500 Dirhams (P20, 500+)
- Egypt – HSWs generally earn between $450 and $700 (P22, 600+ – P35, 000+) per month in Egypt plus benefits.
- France – In France, HSWs salary range are usually between $650 and $750 (P32, 700+ – P37, 700+)
- Guam – Salary range for HSWs in Guam is from 600 to 650 Euros (P35, 600+ – P38, 600+)
- Hong Kong – Some of Filipinas working in Hong Kong has different salary rate depending on the employer. The minimum salary is set to HKD4, 310 (P27, 765) but some of them claim to be receiving only HKD4, 210 (P27, 121). Other luckier HSWs receive HKD5, 000(P32, 000+), some receive HKD6, 200(P39, 940) and some receive as much as HKD8, 000 (P51, 000+)
- Ireland – An HSWs in Ireland claimed that she receives a salary rate of 4,300 Euros (P255, 000+). Nevertheless, the fact is yet to be verified
- Israel – HSWs in Israel earn $1,300 (65,000+) could be lower or higher depending on the employer
- Japan – HSWs in Japan is earning around JP¥136,203(P61,000+)
- Kuwait – Kuwait HSWs earn around 100 to 120 Kuwaiti Dinars (P16, 000+ – P20, 000+) per month.
- KSA – The salary range of HSWs in KSA is from SAR 1,500 to SAR2, 000 (P 20,000+ – P26, 000+)
- Lebanon – The salary received by HSWs in Lebanon is $400 (P20, 000+)
- Malaysia – In Malaysia, the HSWs earn from 1,500 to 1,600 Malaysian Ringgit (P17, 000 -P18, 000+)
- Macau – The salary of HSWs working in Macau earns around 5,000 Pataca (P41,000+)
- Morocco – In Morocco, HSWs earn around 4,000 Moroccan Dirhams (P21,000)
- Oman – HSWs salary in Oman varies from 120 to 140 Omani Riyal (P15,000 to P18,000+)
- Qatar – A Filipina HSWs who works in Qatar could earn from 1,200 to 1,460 Qatari Riyal (P 16,000+ to P20,000+ ) depending on the employer.
- Singapore – The salary of HSWs in Singapore varies depending on the employer. They are earning from 550 to 750 Singaporean Dollars (P20,000+ to P27,000+)
Although these statistics and figures are nice to read and appealing to our eyes, sacrifice and struggle are first met by OFWs before they could get the money. Especially those in the Middle East, these sacrifices and risks are serious. Maybe if you would ask them if they will still go to work abroad if they could earn enough for their family in their home country, most probably a lot of them will choose to stay with the warmth of their family’s embrace.
*This is a progressive survey and we will add more countries based on the survey result and the currency conversion is based on the latest rate.
Dominador R. Say, undersecretary of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), said that talks are underway with Chinese embassy officials on the possibility of deploying Filipino domestic helpers. China’s major cities, Beijing, Shanghai, and Xiamen will soon be the destiny for Filipino domestic workers; those who are seeking higher income.
China is offering up to 100,000 Philippines pesos a month, or an equivalent HK$15,000. In addition to that, Say said Filipinos are favored by the Chinese for their English proficiency, because in this case they can teach their employer’s children.
“Filipinos are also peaceful compared with other nationalities,” Say said.
There is a strict work visa system for foreign workers who want to enter mainland China.
Philippine Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III said that a predictable 200,000 Filipino domestic helpers are working illegally in China. It’s a good thing that there are growing demands for skilled domestic workers.
The Chinese Embassy officials mentioned the improving ties with the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte for the new policy.
Domestic helpers sacrifice their happiness and leave their country and families behind in order for them to make a living to provide their families. You wouldn’t even see any difficulties behind their smiles and laughter. Behind that smile and happiness lie their inner struggles. This could be incredibly difficult but they have no choice and they only want to offer their family a better future.