Domestic workers in Hong Kong. Photo: Asia Times
Domestic workers in Hong Kong. Photo: Asia Times

A Filipino migrant group in Hong Kong has criticized a proposed law that would require all domestic workers to pay more for the Social Security System (SSS) in the Philippines next year.

The Philippine legislature passed the Social Security Act of 2018 requiring all domestic workers overseas to pay the mandatory pension fund that will cost them PHP 2,400 (US$44) every month, starting next year, the reported.

The news came only one month after the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) passed a resolution forcing all Filipino domestic workers to pay for personal insurance each time they sign an employment contract.

Together, these new laws will result in about HK$400 (US$50) being deducted from the monthly earnings of overseas domestic workers.

Dolores Balladares-Pelaez, the chair of United Filipinos-Migrante Hong Kong organization, reacted angrily, slamming the new imposition as another form of extortion on Filipino migrant workers.

However, some Filipino domestic workers in Hong Kong appeared to be untroubled by the fees. One domestic worker who had been in Hong Kong for the past five years agreed with the scheme as she has no insurance coverage. She thinks the pension fund could help her when she returns home and retires.

But other domestic workers said they were concerned about how they can get the benefits, like hospitalization and maternity, if they still work abroad.

According to Migrante International, a support group for overseas Filipino workers worldwide, the new bill would result in PHP144 billion in earnings from the first year of implementation alone.

Read: Group vows to stop mandatory insurance for Filipino workers

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