China explores idea of hiring English-speaking househelp
China is experimenting on employing domestic helpers in mainland Chinese cities of Shanghai and Guangzhou, although not in the same scale as Hong Kong.
Philippine Ambassador to China Jose Santiago Sta. Romana shared this development to visiting Philippine journalists in an interview.
“They are doing it to high-income families, either expats or Chinese that fulfill a certain income level and (those who) can afford,” said Sta. Romana.
He said upper middle class families in mainland China are learning from Hong Kong and want to hire domestic helpers who can speak English.
But the hiring of domestic helpers in mainland China will not be in the same scale as Hong Kong, China’s special administrative region, noting the surplus of Chinese labor.
“It’s very tight to control but they’re loosening it; they’re experimenting in two major places and they hope to expand it further,” he said.
Sta. Romana also said China is hiring Filipino teachers to teach English. The formal engagement should begin within the term of President Rodrigo Duterte, whose October 2016 visit has paved the way in reestablishing positive Philippine-China relations.
In Xiamen, south of Beijing, Filipinos in Fujian province were reminded to refrain from overstaying their welcome in China to avoid at the very least fines or at worse imprisonment.
Consul General Julius Caesar Flores of the Philippine Consulate General in Xiamen said there are over 800 registered Filipinos in Fujian province and about 30 registered Filipinos in Jiangxi province.
However, there is no concrete number of Filipinos who have overstayed in China after their visas expired.
The OS, short for overstaying Filipinos, is believed to number “by the thousands” and usually take on the jobs as household workers.
“They’re hired by local families because they are not only good in house work, they also speak English and they teach the children how to speak English,” said Flores in a press visit with Philippine journalists in Xiamen earlier this week.
Flores reminded Filipinos to refrain from overstaying in China.
“Don’t overstay. The Chinese labor market is not open to household workers. Even when there is demand, it’s not allowed. The Filipino household workers are preferred because they provide English tutorial services to the children,” said Flores.
Flores said they are usually paid between RMB 4,000 to 6,000 or between P28,000 to P42,000. Most of them get free board and lodging and meals.
An RMB 5,000 penalty is meted on the Chinese employer and another RMB 5,000 on the Filipino worker. The Filipino is then repatriated to the Philippines.
The Philippine government’s diplomatic relations with the ruling government in China started in 1946 and the Philippine Consulate General in Xiamen was opened in Gulangyu Island in 1947.
The Consulate was closed in 1949 after the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
On June 9, 1975, the Philippines established diplomatic relationship with China. The Philippine Consulate General in Xiamen was established on January 1995. The following month, diplomat Benito Valeriano became the first Philippine Consul General in Xiamen.
The provinces of Bohol and Jiangxi have a twin province agreement since May 2006. The cities of Cebu and Xiamen have more than 30 years of partnership since the signing of the sister-city agreement on October 26, 1985.
About 80 percent of Filipino-Chinese in the Philippines trace their roots from Fujian province.
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