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All Macao families can apply to hire Filipino domestic helpers starting Monday

Government drops previous age and health restrictions, but Philippine Consulate General unsatisfied with employment conditions.

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Government drops previous age and health restrictions, but Philippine Consulate General unsatisfied with employment conditions.

ARTICLE BY

PUBLISHED

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 4:40 am

Filipino domestic helpers are to be allowed back into Macao, following the government’s sudden decision to drop detailed employment restrictions which were tentatively introduced last month.

From next Monday, any family that needs a domestic helper to look after any of its members, irrespective of age and health, can submit an application for the pilot programme of granting domestic helpers from the Philippines an exemption from the current entry ban on foreign nationals without a Macao ID card.

“There will no longer be any restrictions on those who are looked after by a domestic helper, but all other application requirements will remain unchanged,” the Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Centre announced.

Under the previous set of rules,  Filipino domestic helpers could only be hired to look after senior citizens aged 65 or over, children aged below 12, those with chronic diseases, or those with disabilities. However, very few Macao families applied under the scheme.

Under the new rules, all other current vaccination, immigration and quarantine regulations will continue to apply to domestic helpers and their employers.

The announcement was greeted with cautious approval by the Philippine Consulate General in Macao.

However, the consulate pointed out that “the vital requirements” in the “long-established Philippine regulations covering the deployment of Filipino workers for overseas employment” discussed in a recent meeting between the consulate and Macao’s concerned offices were not addressed.

The consulate noted that this includes a standard employment contract verified by the Philippine Overseas Labour Office in Macao that states the following terms:

“Minimum salary equivalent to US$1,200 [a month] for a professionally-trained and government-certified caregiver; insurance coverage; two-way airfare; and other attendant travel costs such as the cost of the nucleic acid tests and quarantine in Macao to be arranged and paid for by the employer.

The consulate emphasised that failure to abide by these minimum requirements “shall prohibit a prospective Filipino overseas worker from leaving the country” based on current Philippine regulations.

The consulate stated it “remains ready to pursue further discussions” with the concerned local authorities, The Macau Post Daily reported. 

 

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 4:40 am

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