The processing of work certificates for maids from the Philippines seeking to work in Hong Kong has resumed following a 15-day suspension.
But the situation for Filipina maids seeking to work in Singapore is not yet clear, as employment agencies had yet to hear from the government in Manila.
The Philippine government suspended the processing of citizens’ overseas employment certificates (OECs) between November 13 and December 1, in a bid to curb illegal recruitment activities.
The move followed complaints that employment agents in Hong Kong had been involved in illegal scams that duped maids – seeking to work in a third country – out of large sums of money. The maids allegedly arrived in other countries but found they had no legal entitlement to work there.
Officials at Hong Kong’s Labour Department learnt on Friday evening that the processing of maids’ work certificates would resume today, Oriental Daily News reported over the weekend.
However, employment agencies said it would take several weeks – until the New Year – before the supply of first-time Filipina maids fully recovers, as it would take that long to clear over 1,000 applications that have accumulated over the past three weeks. Plus, air-tickets would be too expensive over the Christmas period, as that is peak season for flights.
Meanwhile, employment agencies in Singapore told Lianhe Zaobao (Singapore) they had had no word from Manila on when Filipina workers awaiting approval could be allowed to travel to the city.
Some “desperate” employers were said to have given up hiring Filipina maids who have not worked overseas before and would look instead for others already available in Singapore.