MANILA, Philippines – The deployment of household service workers or domestic workers continues to soar each year as the demand for Filipino maids remains unabated, especially in the Middle East.
Official figures from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) showed that in 2010, there were 154,535 domestic workers deployed, an increase of 11% from the 138,222 in 2009 and 12% from the 123,332 in 2008.
The 154,535 domestic workers deployed in 2010 comprised 45% of the total number of new hires deployed in that year.
According to recruitment consultant Emmanuel S. Geslani, the demand for household help in the Middle East overshadow the demand in the professional and skilled manpower sectors.
Among the jobs included under the category of household service workers are: caregivers/caretakers, janitors, chambermaids, car washers, food service workers, household drivers, manicurists, hair stylists, and other low-skilled positions that may be classified as service work.
Even the world financial crisis in 2008 did not derail the demand for Filipina service workers, as their numbers increased in 2008 and 2009.
Middle East countries were not severely affected by the economic turmoil in the West as oil prices started to climb in those years, allowing the countries to sustain their growth.
The new regulations requiring the increased salary of domestic workers to $400 also did not affect the demand for domestic workers.
The only time domestic workers deployment suffered a decrease was in 2007, when 107,135 were deployed after the POEA implement new rules for hiring domestic workers. In 2008, however, the number of deployed domestic workers rose to 123,332.
Moreover, more women are being deployed as overseas Filipino workers than men. For the past 10 years, 63% of OFWs deployed were women.
The local recruitment industry is optimistic that household service workers deployment will increase anew in 2012, due to the re-opening of the Lebanon and Jordan labor markets.