Anytime The Philippines is in the news, there really is never anything nice said about that country. They apparently cannot pay their professional workforce enough to keep them in the country. The Korea Herald has an article about Filipina women with degrees who come to Korea to be housekeepers or nannies because it pays better than what they were making back home.
Jane has a bachelor’s degree in customs and administrations. Jasmine is a university graduate with a degree in chemical engineering. Jessica studied environmental sciences and Lovely is a computer science major.
These four women sound like they have profiles fit for white collar jobs, but instead they are part of a much lower-wage segment of Korea’s economy. They maintain the balance at home, they mind children and decide what’s for dinner: they are housekeepers.
Jessica, who declined to give her real name, has been in Korea for four years as a housekeeper. Despite graduating with a challeneging degree, working in the Philippines didn’t provide a good income.
“I actually practiced my profession in the Philippines for a year, but the pay is not really lucrative, and the cost of living just keeps increasing,” said the 28-year-old wife with one child.
The monthly salary of the women interviewed ranged from one million won ($896) to 1.6 million won.
“Here, my salary is four times of what I would have gotten in the Philippines,” said Jessica.
Lovely, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, was an office worker in Makati before coming here.
“I quit my job (in the Philippines) because the salary was very low compared to abroad. It was around 500,000 won a month,” said the 40-year-old, Manila native.
[...] Filipinas have increasingly been seeking jobs as housekeepers, for a number of reasons.
“In a factory, you have to work a very long time with people constantly observing you, while working for an American or Korean family is nicer and more convenient,” said Lovely.
“I don’t prefer housekeeping to working in a factory, but it is safer and the salary is higher,” said 28-year-old Jane who also declined to give her real name.
“They (households) treat you as a member of their family,” said Jasmine, who has also worked in Taiwan and the Philippines.
With demand for nannies high, supply is not far behind.
“There are quite a few that are getting Filipina nannies to help their children learn English,” said Angela, a Korean mother of two, who declined to give her real name.
Korean mothers seem to prefer Filipina housekeepers for a number of different reasons.
“I’m currently looking for a Filipina nanny for my kids, because I can’t afford to send them abroad,” said Angela.
“It is becoming popular with Filipinas because the money is good,” said Jasmine, which was also the consensus among the Filipinas interviewed.
Most Koreans, it seems, hire Filipina nannies to teach their children English and help out with the housework.
But it doesn’t always mean less work for some.
“It is actually inconvenient to hire a Filipina, because I cannot ask them to do things as easily as I would a Korean, or Chinese-Korean nanny,” Angela said.
“They usually can’t cook Korean food, so I have to constantly teach them, and it’s a huge blow when a nanny leaves before her contract is over.”
“So because of the kids, I’m actually sacrificing a lot,” she said.
For others, the reason for a foreign nanny was for a sense of privacy.
“It is actually easier and more convenient to hire foreign workers, because they don’t understand Korean,” said Karin.
“That is a big benefit for me because they don’t try to listen to personalbusiness,” she said.
Karin also said that hiring a Korean nanny makes her feel like she just addedanother member to her family, rather than an employee.
On any given day, there are numerous postings online by both prospective employers and employees, suggesting that the trend is here to stay.
Koreans like to hire Filipinas because they can skip and avoid all the cultural awkwardnesses of having another Korean person in the house. No need to worry what level of formality you speak with them, they cannot speak Korean! Additionally, having a woman who can already speak English tutor and babysit your kids while making dinner for everyone sounds like a good deal.