MANILA - The Philippines has barred two maid agencies in Singapore from recruiting Filipinos after they were linked to marketing schemes that purportedly treated maids as "commodities" at shopping malls in Singapore.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, Labour Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said the Philippine embassy in Singapore has suspended the accreditation of Homekeeper Agency, which calls itself the "industry and market leader" on its website.
Another firm, Budget Maid Agency, has been referred to Singapore's Ministry of Manpower, as it has been recruiting Filipinos without accreditation from the Philippine Overseas Labour Office, said Ms Baldoz.
She also announced that the labour department is looking into four licensed recruitment agencies in the Philippines that have been providing applicants to Homekeeper.
The Al Jazeera news organisation reported last Friday that some maid agencies were displaying maids from the Philippines, Indonesia and Myanmar at shopping malls in Singapore.
The report mentioned two malls - Bukit Timah Shopping Centre and Katong Shopping Centre - that it said had rooms and galleries where dozens of women sit beneath "garish signs and posters testifying to their friendliness and industriousness" and offering their services at "super promo" rates and "special discounts".