The Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Singapore has facilitated the settlement of salary claims of 17 household service workers (HSWs) who complained of unpaid salary and unauthorized salary deductions while working in the city-state. In its report to Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, POLO Singapore said that the settlement resulted in the payment of the workers’ monetary claims amounting to S$18,607 or P660,185 for the period January to August 2020.

“Salary deduction is a perennial issue confronting domestic workers in Singapore. This is the reason why POLO has been intensifying its campaign against the illegal practice of  excessive salary deduction perpetrated by some employment agencies in the city-state,” POLO Singapore said in its report.

Labor Attaché Saul De Vries informed Bello that the HSWs who received their money claims through the intervention of POLO-OWWA Singapore had been denied of their salary for one month to as long as six months as the same went directly to their employment agencies purportedly as payment for placement and other recruitment fees.

De Vries also reported that in 2019, POLO-OWWA caused the restitution of S$15,095.50 or P535,571 to 13 HSWs who also complained of excessive salary deduction. He stressed the need for the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration to put in place a policy prohibiting the automatic deduction of recruitment-related expenses from the salaries of HSWs.