Singapore slams 'inappropriate' display of Pinoy help

Posted at 07/06/14 8:13 PM

MANILA -- The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) of Singapore called the display of Filipino foreign domestic workers (FDWs) are "inappropriate" and "unacceptable," saying it will send an advisory to employment agencies (EA) to remind them of the law.

This after Al Jazeera reported that the Bukit Timah Shopping Center in Central Singapore allegedly set up “galleries” in which foreign women workers, including Filipinos, are being offered and advertised for hiring as domestic workers at “super promo” rates.

In a statement released last July 2, the MOM said it "proactively audits Singapore EAs and those found to have acted in a manner detrimental to the interest of the FDWs, will be dealt with in accordance to the Employment Agencies Act."

According to the MOM, inappropriate display of workers at agency's premises or advertising them as being "available for hire at cheap or discounted prices" are unacceptable practices.

"MOM requires EAs to be responsible and accord basic respect in their practices to both their clients -- the employer and the FDW -- and expects them to exercise sensitivity when marketing their fees or services," the statement added.

The statement also cited an interview with Filipino labor attache in Singapore, Vicente Cabe, in The Straits Times, where he was quoted as saying that the claim of the online article "doesn't seem to have basis."

Cabe was also quoted as saying that although he saw some FDWs sitting on one side of a room at some agencies, he did not see anything wrong with how they were treated.

The official also failed to see any "displays of FDWs."

In response to reports that some of the workers were asked to demonstrate household or care giving chores, the MOM said these actions may have been performed inside the agencies' premises as part of their training.

"As some EAs have training facilities in the same premises as their front offices, it is not unreasonable for FDWs to be performing such chores at the EA's premises," the statement said.