Domestic workers in Central on Hong Kong Island, the majority of them from the Philippines. Photo: Asia Times

Filipino domestic workers would still choose Hong Kong as their “best” work destination even if mainland China opens its doors, a recruitment agent has predicted.

The Filipino recruitment industry leader said working conditions in Hong Kong had advantages compared to other countries like Singapore, Malaysia or Brunei, reported.

Alfredo Palmiery, head of the Society of Hong Kong Accredited Recruiters of the Philippines, said the advantages include cooperation between Hong Kong and the Philippine governments, the enforcement of laws and the handling of complaints in the city.

The Philippine Budget Secretary Benjamin E Diokno said in November that Beijing wanted to hire 10,000 Filipino domestic workers for expatriates working in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

Meanwhile, a Philippine labor official once said Filipino workers could earn up to HK$15,000 (US$1,912) a month in mainland China. That is well over normal pay rates in Hong Kong. The minimum wage for a domestic worker in Hong Kong is HK$4,410 a month.

Palmiery admitted that some people fear that migrants working in Hong Kong now will transfer to China because there could be an opportunity to get a higher salary.

But Palmiery said given the advantages that Hong Kong has established over the years, he was confident that there would be still plenty of Filipinos who would like to come to Hong Kong.

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