Lately I haven’t had much time to fill up on my blog as I have been busy looking for a maid.
The process of interviewing potential candidates and conversation with a fellow Filipino colleague opened my eyes to situations in a less developed country.
In Philippines, a university graduate from a rural college expects a meagre salary of about S$250. As such, many Filipinos leave their country and families to eke out a living in cosmopolitan Singapore as a domestic helper where the starting pay for a fresh maid is in the range of S$340 – S$360. As housing, food and basic necessities are provided, most of their pay can be remitted back home after repaying their 8 months loan to the agency.
What heartens me is that they leave their young children back home and do not get to see them for at least two years, sometimes even longer which could be contributing to a rise in broken families. Mothers come to Singapore with the opportunity to earn more so as to afford a better living and education for their children. My colleague comments that this is just being cruel… or is it just reality?
On the other hand, I had a Filipino colleague with a good degree in finance who managed to find a job in an international bank with a commencing pay of S$800. A year ago, she came here to work securing a threefold increment. Just recently she was offered a job back home in Manila with almost the same equivalent pay, additional perks and an impressive VP title. She happily told us that with this package she can now live very comfortably in Philippines with her family. (She’s probably earning more than me now too.)
So you see how do one get out of the poverty cycle? I guess you can say it all boils down to economics.