03 Jan Malaysian maid agencies in a fix
KUALA LUMPUR: The Philippine government’s decision to suspend its domestic workers from working abroad has put Malaysians who want them in a quandary.
Filipinos are currently the second largest group of domestic workers in Malaysia, after Indonesians.
According to Labour Secretary Silvestre Bello III, the Philippine Department of Labour and Employment (Dole) has suspended the acceptance and processing of new applications of overseas employment certificates.
He said the action was taken in view of persistent reports of illegal recruitment activities, including direct hires.
The suspension order, which came into effect on Monday, will last until Dec 1.
Malaysian Maid Employers’ Association (Mama) president Engku Ahmad Fauzi Engku Muhsein said the body hoped that the suspension was temporary.
“We view it as a security measure to improve their system for the safety and welfare of their citizens abroad,” he said.
A maid agency operator here said things were in “a fix” following the suspension, adding that her business would suffer.
“Their terms of agreement are very strict, but I don’t mind that as long as my supply of Filipino maids is regular.
“Before this, I was consistently getting 40 maids a month,” she added.
Philippine Embassy Second Secretary and Consul Johann Veronica M. Andal, when contacted, said the embassy would come out with a statement soon.
According to Dole, 5,000 new applications for overseas employment certificates were processed each day.
It is estimated that about 75,000 applications would be affected by the suspension order.
The Philippine Labour Department is set to form a team to investigate the anomalies.