Sunday, March 11, 2007

Headline: Demand for domestic workers from Philippines has dropped

Actually, it's not that UAE demand for workers from the Phillipines that has changed. It's that the wage has been increased causing employers to reduce quantity of Filipinas they wish to employ.

Indeed, as reported in Gulf News (with my emphasis):
Manal from Al Dawli labour agency in Sharjah said since the decision was taken [by the government of the Philippines]to double domestic helpers' salaries there has been a decline in the number of requests of housemaids from the Philippines.

"Actually there have been no applications at all for Filipina housemaids since the government there decided to double the minimum salary for domestic helpers working abroad," she said.

An official from Ajman Naturalisation and Residency Department said since the enforcement of the rule, there have been no new applications. "We have only the old applications but no new one," he said. According to the new law enforced by Manila government domestic helpers with an old contract will have the same salary till it is renewed.
She [Manal] said her agency had decided to recruit domestic helpers from other nationalities such as Indonesian, Ethiopian and Sri Lankan.

Marina from a recruitment agency in Dubai said: "It is surprising to see that many people here have stopped completely looking for domestic helpers from the Philippines," she said.
Perfectly elastic demand? Perhaps. Perfect substitutes? Perhaps. International labor market? For sure. Welcome to the UAE labor market. It's not at all surprising that if the Phillipines government does not allow Filipinas to enter contracts at less than double the going wage there will be no job offers for Filipinas.

And what about those Filipinas already working here in the low-wage sector? As quoted above, "According to the new law enforced by Manila government domestic helpers with an old contract will have the same salary till it is renewed." Expect a hue and cry as many of those workers are terminated rather than renewed.



Blogger muscati said...

As my accounting professor told me in my undergrad days many many years ago: price is what you pay, value is what you get.

At 700 or 800 dirhams a month, a Filipina housemaid is value for money. Especially if she's well educated and speaks good English. At double that wage, I'd expect more than "she's smart and speaks good English". But then again, I am not employing a maid to run my home office. At $400 a month, I simply don't want a maid unless they're all paid that much. And then I can choose the best $400p.m. I can find. The Philippines govt has priced their domestic workers out of the market. My maid's contract expires end of May. And if she wants to be paid according to the new contracts I'll have to send her back even though I am perfectly happy with her services. I'm already getting shafted by all kinds of price increases and unfortunately, my employer isn't going to accept "my maid's salary has doubled" as an excuse for why they should increase mine.

9:36 PM  

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