In a much unexpected moment, a Singaporean national ask his government to hire more OFWs in Singapore. In his open letter to Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, social activist Jefri Baston explained the reasons why he wishes to have more Filipino workers in his country.
According to the open letter posted at TheRealSingapore.com this Tuesday, January 13, 2015, the Singaporean said that he represents the request of ordinary to average-earning citizens to have more Filipinos holding Employment Pass (EP) and the S-Pass in the employment sector.
“The huge numbers of the Filipinos workers in Singapore are definitely helpful in solving the job vacancy problems. Although there are many unemployed Singaporeans in the local community and locals who struggle to keep their jobs, the competition is fair and just.” Jefri Baston wrote.
“From my personal experience, the Filipinos workers have great skills and experience, and very professional in their work. Needless to say, their salary is competitive enough as compared to Singaporean workers, which gives more freedom to employers.” The Singaporean added.
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The Singaporean also noted that Filipinos workers are not choosy in their jobs and are willing to work long hours, just to send money to their families back in the Philippines. And despite the fact that not all Pinoys are good, Baston emphasized that the Filipino community in Singapore is great as a whole.
Apparently, the Singaporean is believed to be referring to a Filipino nurse who allegedly posted negative remarks against Singaporeans on his Facebook account recently. He was identified as Ello Ed Mundsel Bello, who works at the Tan Tock Seng Hospital. The said nurse was later fired from his job.
Although this is not the first time that an overseas worker in Singapore was fired from his job for posting harsh comments online, Jefri Baston noted that only a few of them are Filipinos. He said he considers the latest incident as an isolated case, and that Filipino workers in general are very kind.
On the latter part of his open letter, Baston stressed out that some Singaporean workers might not agree with his request. Nevertheless, he said he hopes that Mr. Lee Hsien Loong would be able to consider it, which he thinks can help improve the relationship between Singapore and the Philippines.
The said letter has already reached the knowledge of Philippines’ Labor Secretary Rosalinda D. Baldoz, who is also the chairperson of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) Governing Board. According to her, the Philippine government is very grateful for his wonderful comments.
On the other hand, former Bayan Muna Representative Teddy Casiño said that the hardships of OFWs are being recognized by other countries. However, he insisted that the Philippine government should do its own share, or even do better so that no more Filipinos will decide work abroad.
“Working abroad means being away from your family, and it is not a joke. I urged President Noynoy Aquino to continue his great work in resolving our economic issues. I also request that the next president to focus on projects that will convince every Filipino not be an OFW.” Casiño told TN.
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