via gmanetwork.com – Filipino domestic helpers in Singapore are set to receive a SGD$50 increase in their monthly salary starting January, the Straits Times reported Thursday.
Minimum wage for Filipino domestic helpers in Singapore was originally set by the Philippine government at $400.
Singaporean agencies agreed to increase the wages to SGD$500 following an agreement between the Association of Employment Agencies Singapore (AEAS) and the Philippine Embassy three years ago.
Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz told GMA News Online through a text message that the increase to SGD$550 brought wages of Filipino maids closer to the Philippine minimum wage of $400.
“I think (SGD$550) is almost equal to $400. If that is so, the Singapore market will be compliant for Filipino DH minimum salary,” Baldoz said.
“There is no minimum wage for domestic helpers. It is our Philippine minimum wage of $400 that we follow,” she added.
The agreement was reached to avoid exchange rate fluctuations, the report said.
AEAS president K. Jayaprema told The Straits Times that the increase in salary — the first for Filipino maids in three years — was “a natural progression” over time and was partly influenced by the stronger US dollar.
Jayaprema noted that some caregivers were already being paid above SGD$600 for having better qualifications.
An earlier report by The Straits Times quoted Philippine Labor Attache Vicente Cabe as saying that a new cap has been placed on the number of Filipino maids coming to Singapore.
“The plan is to bring down the total number of Filipino domestic workers in Singapore by about 20 per cent in the next two years,” Cabe said.
Estimates by the Philippine Embassy state that 70,000 of 227,100 domestic helpers in Singapore are Filipinos.
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