The Philippines Overseas Labour Office in Singapore (POLO-SG) have made it official — the minimum salary for filipino domestic workers will be raised to $570, starting May 1.
In a letter sent to over 200 accredited employment agencies, the Philippines Embassy’s Labour Attache cited the need to keep pace with exchange rate fluctuations of the US dollar in relation to the Singapore dollar.
The previous minimum salary mark was set at $550 — a yardstick that applied for domestic helpers from both the Philippines and Indonesia.
Alongside the increased costs in hiring Filipino maids, the labour office will also conduct random checks and require agencies to submit more documents to ensure employers aren’t deducting their helpers’ salaries.
The more stringent procedures were triggered by reports of employment agencies in Singapore who “continuously charge Filipino domestic workers placement fees through salary deductions of one to eight months”. For shame, folks.
“Due to this alleged blatant disregard of Philippine laws and regulations and despite the many briefings conducted by POLO-SG to address the situation, POLO-SG hereby announces the following policies to take effect immediately,” wrote Pastrana.
Aside from errant employment agencies, domestic helpers have to deal with the issue of cruel Singaporean employers. A recent high-profile case saw a couple sentenced to jail for severely starving their Filipino maid, who weighed only 29kg when she managed to escape their Orchard Road condo.