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Recruiters’ moratorium imperils 35,000 Filipino jobs in Hong Kong
Publication Date : 02-03-2013
A self-imposed moratorium by a group of Philippine-based licensed recruiters might deprive some 35,000 Filipinos of jobs as household service workers (HSWs) in Hong Kong.
The Society of Hong Kong Accredited Recruiters of the Philippines Inc. (SHARP), an association of Philippine licensed overseas employment providers, earlier announced that it will stop deploying HSWs for employers in the former British colony, citing prohibitive recruitment costs that workers incur.
Alfredo Palmiery, president of SHARP, said that until such time that their counterparts and their employers in Hong Kong have satisfactorily addressed the issue of high recruitment costs, the moratorium they imposed would remain.
In 2011, over 130,000 new hires and rehires were deployed by private recruitment agencies to Hong Kong. Some 40,000 of these new hires were processed by members of SHARP, said Palmiery.
Hong Kong is the fourth largest labor market for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and also the largest destination for OFWs in the household service sector.
The moratorium on the hiring and placement of Filipino household service workers to Hong Kong will have its consequences, Palmiery admitted.
“Financially, the costs of abandoning and losing a major labor market is huge. A moratorium may also have socio-economic effects and could affect friendly bilateral relations between Hong Kong and the Philippines. However, our primordial consideration here is the interest and welfare of our HSWs who are groaning under the heavy weight of high recruitment costs at the Hong Kong end of the recruitment cycle,” he said.
Palmiery said members of SHARP have started renegotiating their recruitment terms and conditions with their counterpart Hong Kong agencies to address the problem of high recruitment costs and have received positive responses.
Once a greater majority agree to the no-placement fee arrangement, Palmiery said they will immediately lift the moratorium and resume hiring and placement of HSWs to Hong Kong.