Pinay maids 'marketed' in Singapore mall: report

Posted at 06/28/2014 5:19 PM | Updated as of 06/28/2014 8:32 PM

MANILA - The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said it will look into a report that Filipino maids are among those being exploited at a mall in Singapore.

Speaking to ANC on Saturday, Philippine Labor Attache to Singapore Vicente Cabe said agencies found engaging in malpractice and ill treatment of Filipino helpers will face sanctions.

Cabe said there have been no direct complaints on the matter so far, but noted similar complaints were made in 2013.

He said agencies involved were made to correct their abuses, and employees were either moved to other jobs or repatriated.

"If we will be able to confirm through investigation that these agencies involved are indeed conducting malpractice in their recruitment of housemaids, then we can cancel or suspend their accreditation," he said.

"But if there's physical or verbal abuse or maltreatment, then we will have to refer them to the police," he added.

Cabe, however, admitted monitoring will be a challenge as only 200 out of around 1,000 recruitment agencies in Singapore are accredited by the Philippines.

On its website, Al Jazeera reported that the Bukit Timah Shopping Centre in central Singapore has galleries called "Homekeeper" and "Budget Maid."

The galleries feature domestic workers from Indonesia, Philippines, and Myanmar.

Some signs advertise "super promo" or "special discount" rates.

A migrant workers advocacy group in Singapore said racial stereotypes are sometimes used in transactions.

These include Filipinos as "smarter," Indonesians as "less bright," and Burmese workers as "sweet-natured and compliant." -- ANC