[OPINION] Challenges in deploying Filipino household service workers to China

photo via therealsingapore.com

By Meiting Li/rappler.com – In July 2017, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) revealed that there was a possibility for China to hire Filipino household service workers (HSWs) with a high salary of up to P100,000 per month. China is indeed likely to open its doors to Filipino HSWs, but there will be challenges and restrictions.

In August 2017, the Department of Trade in Service and Commercial Services, Chinese Ministry of Commerce, released what by far is the most updated and official source of information on the service industry. In 2016, it was estimated that there were up to 25,420,000 workers in China’s HSWs sector, yet there remain huge gaps to be filled across the major and medium-sized cities in China.

In Beijing alone, there is still a demand for 200,000 to 300,000 more HSWs. Around 30.2% of HSWs in China were needed for maternal care and child rearing, while 16.3% were required for elderly care. These two areas had the greatest need for HSWs, given China’s aging problem and the recently enacted Two-Child Policy.

The majority of Chinese domestic HSWs lack professional training. In the past two years, there were appalling cases of the maltreatment of elderly and babies by HSWs in their homes, in care houses and kindergartens. In June 2017, a household helper set fire to her employer’s apartment in Hangzhou in the middle of the night, causing the death of the employer and her two children in a case that shocked the general public. The helper was sentenced to death in February 2018.

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