China is looking to start allowing Filipino maids to work legally in five Chinese cities, good news for the tens of thousands of Filipino maids who are already working in China illegally.
Chinese embassy officials recently paid a visit to the Philippines Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to discuss the possibility of soon opening China up to Filipino household service workers (HSWs). Labor Undersecretary Dominador Say told The Philippine Star that the proposed trial measure would start in five cities, including Beijing, Shanghai and Xiamen, and the maids would be paid a monthly salary of up to around 13,000 yuan.
Say added that a delegation from China is due to visit the Philippines in September to further negotiate the deal.
Around the world, Filipino maids are highly-prized for their training and professionalism; however, individuals in China are currently banned from hiring overseas maids.
This has created a thriving black market where agents help get Filipino maids into mainland China, usually via Hong Kong on business visas, and connect them with wealthy families looking for a new status symbol, as well as someone who can teach their kid to speak English.
Last year, the Philippine consulate-general in Hong Kong estimated that there were nearly 200,000 undocumented Filipinos working as maids in China. Typically, these women can make anywhere from 6,000 to 8,000 yuan a month; however, because their work is illegal it is difficult for them to travel home to see their family; meanwhile, they are largely at the mercy of their employer with no legal recourse.
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