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Author Topic: Question for Ex-OCW Filipinas  (Read 10183 times)
Jeff S
Guest
« on: December 14, 2001, 05:00:00 AM »

I've heard bits and pieces about OCW Filipinas working in Hong Kong, Singapore or other places as housekeepers, nannys, etc. Can one of you explain what it's all about. Do the host families treat you well, supply you with lodging, give you time off, other perks, or is it more like indentured servitude? Do most OCW women do it for adventure or solely to send money back home to families? Are there other jobs (I know we discussed "entertainment" jobs in Japan for Filipinas at some length in teh past) or is it mostly domestics? I'm just curious, but I'll bet plenty of newbys and lurkers are interested in understanding what that's all about.
-- Jeff S.
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Jimbo
Guest
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2001, 05:00:00 AM »

... in response to Question for Ex-OCW Filipinas, posted by Jeff S on Dec 14, 2001

Hi Jeff,

Okay I will explain some!(o,o)

I've been in Singapore for five years and four years in Hongkong. Mostly OCW in Singapore are domestic helpers and skilled workers, as well in Hongkong. Each country in asia have their own cultures and belief. For example Singapore, when I was in Singapore at the time, every six month we must have a medical examination for pregnancy test and blood test. If you get pregnant or you have a desease then they will terminate you right away. The government in Singapore is simply very strict. Also our monthly salary half goes to the government tax (levy tax).

Some employers in Singapore they don't allow you to have a day off. In short, Singapore you can't enjoy freedom. I was just lucky in Singapore because my employer are very nice, treat me well like their own family.

Your question above, "is it more likely indentured servitude?" Well some employers treat some OCW like a dirt (only mean employers do that) especially in Middle East as well in Singapore as far as I know. Some employers they don't follow the rules and regulations in the contract document. Some are being under paid.

"Do most OCW women do it for adventure or solely to send money back home?" Maybe for the single women they do it for adventure at the same time seeking a lifetime partner. LOL.  Well, every OCW has their own story why they have left and work abroad but mostly our common reason is to help the family.

In Hongkong? I like Hongkong better. More freedom, no medical exam every six month, no need to pay taxes to the government, and good salary. And OCW in HK are protected by the government. For example the employers in HK don't follow the rules or you are being under paid or ill-treated then you must report to the police or immigration promtly. Then if they are guilty then they must pay the fine or go to jail. But some employers get away with it especially if the OCW not wise enough. LOL.  Yes, employers must provide foods, or allowance and lodging to all OCWs. That is the rule when the employer hired an OCW.


Sally

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Jeff S
Guest
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2001, 05:00:00 AM »

... in response to Re: Question for Ex-OCW Filipinas.........., posted by Jimbo on Dec 14, 2001

That was what I wanted to know. I'm a bit surprised about Singapore. I know the government was strict there but thought they were protective of everyone including foreigners. I've never been there but had some business dealings there and the more I learn about it the less I think I'm interested in going there. Do Filipinas generally feel they have a better chance of finding a husband if they're working in Hong Kong or Singapore? Do many find Chinese or Singaporean husbands?
-- Jeff S.
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Jimbo
Guest
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2001, 05:00:00 AM »

... in response to Thanks Sally., posted by Jeff S on Dec 15, 2001

Hi Jeff,

I have few friends in HK and Singapore married to chinese man. Some were successful marriage, some aren't. But most of my friends are married with western men through pen and paper.  I think mostly Filipina prefer western men than chinese men. (o"O)

Singapore is a nice place too. Very clean and people are well discipline, friendly and polite in public. Also Singapore is a safe place to live.  No typhoon, no eartquake and less crime. Their communication is Singaporean English. All taxi drivers speak English. Singapore has four language, Chinese Mandarin, Malay(Malaysia),Hindu(INDIA) and English British or their very own Singaporean English. So when you arrive in the airport of Singapore you will see 4 languages signs. So you won't get lost.

When you commit a crime in Singapore, no matter how rich you are or where you come from or how famous you are, you must obey the rules in Singapore.

Jeff, in case you might interested to visit in Singapore but please remember these: No picking flowers, no littering, no spitting, no chewing gums, no jay walking, and no monkey business.LOL. If you go to the men's room don't forget to flush it all the time or else you will pay the fine. There are hidden camera everywhere in public.

Like my friends in Singapore they were in Botanical garden that day and they were busy chatting each other and she didn't notice that she drop some tissue accidentally on the ground. After few minutes the guard shown up and he says he saw my friend drop the tissue. My friend was skeptical and denied it because she didn't know she really drop it or not.  But the guard insisted that she drop it and must pay the fine. But my friend didn't pay for it, because she has no enough money to pay the fine S$150 Singapore dollar. The following day the police went to her employer's house and asked for the fine or go to jail for six month. My poor friend pay the fine and her employer terminated her for being careless.


Sally

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Tim
Guest
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2001, 05:00:00 AM »

... in response to Re: Question for Ex-OCW Filipinas.........., posted by Jimbo on Dec 14, 2001

You probably knew that the OCWs in HK were the highest paid in asia (not that it was alot by US standards).

Recently, the government is seriously considering cutting the minimum wage of OCWs there. They say this is needed as an economic stimulus since the asian financial crisis is hitting HK pretty hard right now. I don't buy it, nor do alot of people. It's just a cheap tactic to appease the local people. The possibility of this paycut is causing a rather large ruckus that's getting considerable news coverage there.

Although the OCWs in HK do seem to be protected more by the legal system and enjoy more freedoms than their sisters in other countries, in my opinion their situation in HK is beginning to deteriorate.

My wife and I still own property in HK, so we keep up with current events there closely.

Regards, Tim

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NW Jim
Guest
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2001, 05:00:00 AM »

... in response to The OCW minimum wage may be cut soon in ..., posted by Tim on Dec 14, 2001

Tim,
Have been wondering about this question for some time now. Why are there still OCW's in Hong Kong? Wouldn't it be cheaper to bring in workers from the rest of China? I'm sure there are many willing young people in the interior of China who would jump at the opportunity.What am I missing?
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Tim
Guest
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2001, 05:00:00 AM »

... in response to Why are there still OCW in Hong Kong?, posted by NW Jim on Dec 16, 2001

Mostly the reasons are what Nathan has stated. Many of the OCWs work for expatriots who require some proficiency in English.

Another reason is that HK already has a tremendous problem with illegal immigration from mainland China. If the domestic helper industry were taken over by mainland Chinese, this problem would only grow.

Regards, Tim

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Nathan
Guest
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2001, 05:00:00 AM »

... in response to Why are there still OCW in Hong Kong?, posted by NW Jim on Dec 16, 2001

  I think Filipinas offer two advantages- English and a more western style education. In addition, Hong Kong still
has a seperate economic system from the rest of China, and
a different minimum wage laws apply.

Nathan

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yorktr
Guest
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2001, 05:00:00 AM »

... in response to Re: Why are there still OCW in Hong Kong..., posted by Nathan on Dec 16, 2001

I seem to recall around the time of the handover that Filipina OCW's were going to be phased out from employment in Hong Kong. Anybody else remember this?
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Tim
Guest
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2001, 05:00:00 AM »

... in response to Wasn't a Phaseout Planned?, posted by yorktr on Dec 16, 2001

nt
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cc
Guest
« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2001, 05:00:00 AM »

... in response to Question for Ex-OCW Filipinas, posted by Jeff S on Dec 14, 2001

In Hong Kong it's mostly domestic, in Singapore it is mainly factory work (assembly of computer parts for example). I don't know any Filipina who does it for adventure - it's always to support their family back home. Pay is very low ($100 to $200 per month) with little or no vacation.
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9ball
Guest
« Reply #11 on: December 14, 2001, 05:00:00 AM »

... in response to Question for Ex-OCW Filipinas, posted by Jeff S on Dec 14, 2001

The recent filipino movie "Anak" with Vilma Santos gives a glimpse of an OCW domestic helper.
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