jobs, life in korea, pinoys in korea

Would You Want to Legalize Filipino Domestic Helpers in South Korea?

Legal domestic helpers in South Korea – mostly in Seoul – were able to come here through employment with embassy officials and registered foreign investors. Other than that, there are no other means of coming over to South Korea as a domestic helper. No such visa still exists.

But that doesn’t mean Filipinas are not working as domestic helpers here in Seoul. They do. And almost all of them are undocumented.

And here’s what you need to know:

Contracted domestic helpers by embassy officials earn, on the average, $500usd per month.

Undocumented Filipinas who work as domestic helpers charge, on the minimum, 1,000,000-won (889.05usd) a month. Whether they work as stay-in helpers or not depends on the agreement they have with their employers, most of whom are Koreans. But, mind you, 1,000,000-won is low, according to some of them. Some are being paid 1,600,000-won (1,422.48usd) a month.

Those who work on a daily basis charge 10,000-won per hour. I’m luckier, I guess. I pay mine 65,000-won for working 8-9 hours.

That’s why most women who first came over as factory workers would rather extend their stay and risk their illegal status to earn that much.

Now, South Korea’s Ministry of Strategy and Finance is considering bringing Filipinos as domestic helpers with the primary intention of bringing back more Korean women into the workplace.

Ministries split over plan on Filipino babysitters

By Lee Hyo-sik
Many Korean women quit their jobs after giving birth in the face of a range of difficulties in raising children while working at the same time. A shortage of decent childcare facilities, among other factors, makes working moms refrain from having more babies or end up staying home to raise their children.
To boost the nation’s falling birthrates and encourage more women to participate in economic activities, the Ministry of Strategy and Finance is considering bringing Filipino women into the country to employ them as babysitters.
Many working mothers seem to welcome the government’s latest move, saying it will help them find suitable babysitters at lower costs.

full article here


I know the title calls for babysitters. Here in Korea, and I’m sure in Hong Kong and Singapore, babysitters do not just work exclusively as baby sitters. They do the whole work from taking care of the kids to cleaning the house to cooking to washing and ironing clothes. And here in Korea, most moms rely on their domestic helpers as their kid’s English tutor, too. That’s regardless of the English skills of the helpers. But that’s another matter.

This one’s a complex subject. Koreans have their own reasons whether to want to legalize domestic helpers or not. They could go on debating about that but what about from the point of view of Filipinos?

Would you want to legalize Filipino domestic helpers in South Korea?

Facebook Comments
Blog Widget by LinkWithin

9 thoughts on “Would You Want to Legalize Filipino Domestic Helpers in South Korea?

  1. the usual salary of a live-in caregiver in Canada is, i think, even less than $1,422.48. i think for me it would be good to legalize it, so that both employers and employee’s rights are protected.
    KM recently posted..WATERPROOFED!My Profile

  2. Oh my, this is very sad. 🙁 In a way, I can understand why some still continue working despite being illegal due to the harsh reality of life. I hope that if ever legalized, they will be more protected and have benefits as well.

  3. I share the same sentiments with Shie. It depends in the end how Koreans will treat Filipinos DH there. But one thing is that if they are legalized, supposedly they will have better benefits and most probably with better “fight” when Korean employers will try to abuse them…. so it really depends. But yeah, in a perfect world, I would rather Filipinos wouldn’t have to leave their families in the Philppines just to work like slaves in other countries…

    Spanish Pinay
    Spanish Pinay recently posted..It’s a Dress!My Profile

  4. Frankly, I want quality life for my kababayans. If only I can do something to keep them in the Philippines and provide them jobs. I know many Filipinos are struggling to survive these days, but I won’t explain my stand in a cliche way. Enough is enough. Foreign domestic helpers in rich Asian countries are more like slaves, not to mention the plight of others in Middle East. However, in Italy, it’s a different situation for Filipino maids. I should know, I have too many relatives working there. In fact, most of them have built huge houses complete with expensive Italian displays and furniture. Their working condition is way better. If you’re a nanny in Italy you just take care of the baby/kids. If you’re hired to clean the house, you just clean the house. Most of my relatives there don’t complain of their situation. What’s funny is they can scold their employers. After cleaning, they can tell the employers not to mess around the house without their bosses getting offended. Italians are considerate employers. And in Italy, they have benefits like in America. Have we ever heard of Pinoy DH being abused in European countries especially Italy? Meron siguro but very rare cases.

    I’m not sure how Korea will take care of the Pinoy helpers. I’m just worried about their welfare especially because of my experience with my Korean students whose attitude can be unbearable. I’ve lost count of how many Pinays have been killed and abused by Asian employers like in HK, China, and Singapore.

    Marami akong alam na Koreans na bastos sa mga Pinay maids. It’s hard to stomach when they say ‘ang tanga’ ng Pinay maid nila.

    I love my kababayans. Sobrang awang-awa na sa ko kanila especially to the mothers who sacrifice their families back home only to suffer physical/verbal abuse in foreign countries.

    1. usd500 is the same with HK and SG. being legal also means they should be covered with insurance and health benefits.

      thanks for visiting…

Leave a Reply to Karla Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge