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PIA Press Release

Markets exist for better-paid domestics, says Labor chief

Quezon City (22 November) -- THERE are countries willing to take in Filipino domestic helpers whose minimum wage will soon be raised, abor Secretary Arturo Brion said.

Among these countries, he said, are Spain, Canada and South Korea.

"We are going after the higher-end markets. In Spain, the monthly salary is Eur976," he said, noting that this is higher than the soon-to-be-imposed minimum monthly salary.

Earlier, recruiters said employers in Lebanon have turned to Sri Lankans and Nepalese to fill their need for domestic helpers because of the impending wage increase.

But Brion said he preferred the high-end markets because overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) employed as domestics in these countries do not work in private homes but in care-giving institutions and are, therefore, not vulnerable to abuse, either sexual or physical.

"The domestic help situation really concerns us because 80 percent of all the welfare cases we attend to are those of domestic helpers, many [involving] rapes. We should not tolerate this," he said.

Brion said the only obstacle with Spain and South Korea is language. He said prospective OFWs to these countries need to undergo at least one month's training in speaking Spanish and Korean.

In Canada, Brion said, institutions in Saskatchewan, Alberta, and Manitoba are prepared to hire Filipino caregivers.

Asked if these caregivers are also offered immigrant status, he said: "It's a mix. Some are strictly temporary, some are contractual, some are for those intending to acquire permanent residence."

Of South Korea, Brion said the Philippine government has renewed its memorandum of agreement with that country to provide 10,000 worker-trainees every year to manufacturing companies there. (PIA) [top]

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