Performance bond no longer needed for S'pore employers to hire Filipino maids

The performance bond is a requirement by the Philippine government to ensure that employers here comply with rules. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Singapore employment agencies and employers hiring Filipino domestic workers no longer need to submit a banker's guarantee and performance bond.

The performance bond is a requirement by the Philippine government to ensure that employers here comply with rules, such as providing medical coverage and paying salaries on time.

This was on top of the mandatory $5,000 security bond for all non-Malaysian foreign domestic workers in Singapore required by the Ministry of Manpower, which remains in place.

The move was announced by Philippine Secretary of Migrant Workers Maria Susana Ople during her meeting with Manpower Minister Tan See Leng on Wednesday.

It is among the outcomes of a two-day state visit by Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr, who was on his first trip to Singapore since taking office in June.

A joint statement by the Philippine Department of Migrant Workers and the Ministry of Manpower said the removal of the requirement was in recognition of the deep and abiding friendship between the two countries.

In the statement, Mr Tan expressed appreciation for the removal and affirmed Singapore's commitment to protect the well-being of all migrant workers in Singapore.

The Philippine Overseas Labour Office website states that a letter of guarantee for a $7,000 Philippine Embassy bond with a reputable insurance company in Singapore is needed when an overseas Filipino worker departs for or returns to work in another country.

On Wednesday, leaders from Singapore and the Philippines exchanged bilateral agreements in areas ranging from digital cooperation, data privacy and counter-terrorism to water collaboration and urban development.

President Halimah Yacob, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Mr Marcos welcomed a joint communique on the recruitment of Filipino healthcare workers.

This is expected to pave the way for greater bilateral cooperation in the field of healthcare, said a joint statement by both countries issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Leaders from both sides reaffirmed the strong people-to-people ties that form the core of the bilateral relationship.

Madam Halimah and Mr Marcos paid tribute to the 200,000-strong Filipino community in Singapore in their speeches at a state lunch at the Istana.

Madam Halimah said Singapore is a familiar place to many Filipinos, who have relatives and friends working or studying here.

"We are home to a dynamic and thriving Filipino community of over 200,000 people. They form an important part of our diverse social fabric," she said.

She expressed appreciation for Filipino frontline workers in Singapore who played a critical role in the fight against Covid-19.

"I am heartened that the reopening of borders has allowed many Filipinos to return home to reunite with their families and loved ones. I look forward to the increased frequency of social, education and cultural exchanges between our two peoples," she said.

Mr Marcos said Singapore's developed economy presents opportunities for the thousands of Filipinos who have chosen to set up their lives here.

"They are happy and content with their decision to come to Singapore to make their lives here. Singaporeans have been open and warm in their relations with our Filipino workers in Singapore, and for that, I thank the Singaporean Government and people."

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