Taiwan allows direct hiring of Filipino maids and workers

AFP, The Straits Times, 22 February 2001

TAIPEI—The Taiwanese government approved measures yesterday to allow local people to directly hire Filipino workers and maids without having to go through brokers.

The mechanism became effective after the Executive Yuan, the island’s Cabinet, passed the memorandum that Taipei and Manila had previously drawn up.

‘Hopefully a new channel of employment would be introduced, and make Filipino employees more competitive,’ government spokesman Su Cheng-ping said.

Each Filipino worker and maid currently needs to pay about NT$100,000 (S$5,500) to brokers in order to work here.

Filipinos make up about 35 per cent of the roughly 300,000 foreign workers in Taiwan.

In December, the island lifted a ban it had imposed on hiring Filipino workers for key projects following the resumption of direct air links with the Philippines.

The ban on hiring Filipino workers in the manufacturing sector and public infrastructure projects came into force in June last year.

It was widely seen as a retaliation by Taipei for Manila's suspension of the bilateral aviation agreement.

The two recently restored direct air links, after a one-year hiatus, when Manila agreed to revive the 1996 bilateral aviation pact.