Chinese netizens are apparently not too happy over the news that China will be welcoming Filipino household service workers (HSWs) to work in their country.
In a statement released by the Philippines’ Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Sunday, Filipino HSWs will soon be able to find decent-paying jobs initially in five major cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, and Xiamen.
What has especially irked most Chinese netizens was apparently the reported promise of decent wages to the potential foreign workers, reports the Philippine Star, with monthly salaries proposed to be around 13,000 yuan ($1,930).
DOLE Undersecretary Dominador Say said that initial discussions with the Chinese embassy have proved to be a success and added that a group of delegates from the embassy will be visiting the Philippines in September to finalize discussions on the subject.
Say explained that the demand for Filipino helpers is due to the growing desire to hire domestic workers with English proficiency and international training. “Filipinos are also peaceful compared to other nationalities,” he added.
Say noted that the improving ties with the Duterte administration contributed to China’s decision to hire Filipinos.
“They will not have approached us if they are not serious with their desire to hire Filipinos,” Say said.
Users of Chinese social media platform Weibo reacted negatively on the proposed wages for Filipino maids.
“Why can domestic workers from the Philippines obtain such a high salary while we normal Chinese only earn little per month?” one netizen wrote.
“Isn’t the country supposed to raise salaries for its citizens first and then import foreign workers?”
Meanwhile, Hong Kong Employers of Overseas Domestic Helpers Association chairwoman Betty Yung said she was not concerned that such lucrative offers would cause Filipino helpers in Hong Kong to leave altogether, reports RTHK.
She remains confident that despite the said plans, she believes China would still remain a restricted market for maids.
“I think they use the high salary, firstly, of course, to encourage them to go, maybe. But secondly, it’s to stop an [influx] of domestic helpers into China, because not everyone can afford to pay them,” Yung was quoted as saying.
In Hong Kong, the minimum wage for a domestic worker is only HKD $4,210 ($530) per month.