Taiwan increases pay of foreign house service workers
MANILA, Philippines – Household service workers (HSWs) who migrated to Taiwan for employment will benefit from a monthly pay increase of 1,160 new Taiwan dollars (NTD).
This came about after labor-exporting countries negotiated with the island nation’s Ministry of Labor for the hike.
Effective September 1, Migrant domestic workers based in Taiwan will now receive a monthly salary of NTD17,000 (P24,270).
"I welcome this piece of good news from our labor representative to Taiwan. I am sure our household service workers in that country will also welcome this good news. They deserve the pay raise after [the rate] has remained stagnant for 18 years,” said Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz on Thursday, October 8.
The increase is lower than the demand of NTD17,500 by labor representatives of Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand, who made their case before Taiwan's Deputy Minister Hao Feng Min.
From 1997 to before September 1, HSWs in Taiwan received NTD15,840 (P22,500) a month. The cost of living has increased by 40% since, Thailand's representative argued during the negotiations.
HSWs are the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who are considered among the vulnerable and prone to abuse. (READ: DFA: 3 challenges in protecting female domestic workers)
Professionalizing HSWs is a shared interest, said Baldoz.
Baldoz explained that HSWs are no longer as vulnerable in terms of their legal rights in the Philippines, but still face abuse at times due to factors inherent to domestic work.
“Certain peculiarities in their work setting still expose them to certain vulnerabilities, because they are not working in an establishment [or] in a company but a household where there is practically no support system,” she explained.
Earlier, DOLE cited government efforts, such as the enforcement of a standard employment contract providing a monthly minimum wage of $400, the implementation of the no-placement-fee policy for HSWs, and the mandatory training of HSWs as probable causes of decline in the Philippines' deployment.
The Philippines is known labor-sending country.
Over 10.5 million Filipinos are either temporarily working or permanently residing abroad, according to the 2013 Commission on Filipinos Overseas compendium.
While OFWs' remittances boost the economy, President Benigno Aquino III envisions "a government that creates jobs at home so that working abroad will be a choice rather than a necessity." – Rappler.com