China is a more promising labor market for Filipino household workers, a party-list representing Filipino migrant workers said Sunday, adding demand for English-speaking nannies is rising in that country.
In a statement, ACTS-OFW said Filipino workers in China will have better working and living conditions than in the Middle East. According to the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, 1,058,514 Filipinos were deployed to the Middle East in 2015-2016, the latest figures on its website.
“The problem with the Middle East is that they still have the kafala system, which China does not have,” Rep. Aniceto Bertiz III said.
The kafala system requires so-called unskilled foreign workers in countries in the Middle East to have a sponsor who is responsible for their visa and legal status. Bertiz said the system leads to the abuse of migrant workers.
He added employers do not always pay the minimum monthly pay of $400 (around P20,758) for Filipino domestic workers set by the POEA. “In Saudi Arabia, for instance, there are employers who still pay their Filipino household service workers only $200 monthly,” Bertiz said.
ACTS-OFW said economic growth in China has led to “an explosion of demand” for Filipino domestic workers.
“Demand is being driven by China’s rapid economic growth, which has lured some 600,000 expatriates to live and work there, as well as the growing number of upper middle class Chinese families who want their children to grow around English-speaking nannies,” Bertiz said.
ACTS-OFW, citing voter registration data, said there were 102,421 migrant Filipino voters in China. Bertiz added that, according to unofficial estimates, there are around 200,000 Filipino domestic workers in China.
“In the case of nannies, many of them are between 30 to 35 years old. They also serve as private tutors to their wards,” he said.