Singapore Gov’t: Display of budget maids, not tolerable

Photo credit: weehingthong blog

In a statement, Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM) assured the Philippine government that it does not tolerate the alleged display of foreign domestic workers or advertising them at “budget rates” at the premises of some employment agencies.

Reports have recently circulated from Filipino media sources that some employment agencies are advertising maids at supposedly budget-friendly rates to attract more employers.

MOM reminds these employment agencies that it is their duty to accord basic respect, not just to the prospective employers but to the maids as well.  After all, these foreign domestic workers are also their clients.

Pinoy labor attaché denies presence of budget maid firms

Vicente Cabe, the Filipino labor attaché in Singapore, denies the presence of the firms advertising the budget maids, saying that the original online Al Jazeera story and subsequent reports in other news sites didn’t seem to have any basis at all.

Based on his personal observations, Cabe didn’t find any such advertisements during visits to the shopping centers where the supposed ads were being promoted.  He also said he didn’t think the maids were put on display.  All he saw were some who were sitting on one part of the room while waiting for their turn to be interviewed.  He added that he does not see anything wrong with that set-up.

No 'inappropriate display' of maids Photo credit: Today Online
No ‘inappropriate display’ of maids
Photo credit: Today Online

Singapore officials investigate the issue

MOM officials also made an ocular inspection of the 2 employment agencies in question, but reported nothing wrong.  They said that no foreign maids were put on display at these firms located in 2 shopping centers.

The MOM statement assured Filipino officials that they will deal with the matter accordingly, if they find proof that the employment firms had violated their mandates.

They mentioned, however, that they see nothing wrong with the foreign domestic workers demonstrating their skills to prospective employers at the agency’s stall because these firms also operate training facilities in these shopping centers.  Thus, the display of skills is not really inappropriate, the statement stressed.

Maids in training? Photo credit: weehingthong blog
Maids in training?
Photo credit: weehingthong blog

The online Al Jazeera story had also mentioned that some of the foreign workers are being maltreated by their employers.  To that, the MOM statement replied that it is the responsibility of the employment firms to check and make sure the well-being of the maids who are under their care.  These are supposed to be clear under the MOM’s rules for these employment firms.

By the ministry’s rules, these firms are not allowed to hold the maids outside their will or to restrict their movements.

The statement also mentioned that the Singaporean government has a proactive status in auditing these employment agencies.  Anyone found violating their rules and proven to have acted in a manner detrimental to the interest of their domestic helper clients, will be dealt with accordingly.