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March 1996, Volume 3, Number 3

Filipino Recruitment

Under Philippine law, agencies that arrange for Filipinos to work abroad cannot charge the workers more than 5,000 pesos ($200). Most workers pay far more for foreign jobs--the going rate for going to Hong Kong as a maid is 25,000 pesos, and 60,000 pesos for a job in Taiwan.

The Philippines is also considering exempting maids working abroad from paying Philippine income taxes. With workers in over 40 countries, many Filipinos abroad learn that they must pay income taxes on their earnings both to their host country and to the Philippines.

After returning forcibly on February 14, 1996 at least one of 84 Vietnamese from a camp that opened in 1978, the Philippines reversed course and announced that the last of the 2,700 Vietnamese in the country who refused to return could stay in the country. There are still 36,000 Vietnamese in camps around southeast Asia, and in January 1996, the Philippines agreed with Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Thailand to return the remaining Vietnamese in 1996.

The Philippines reportedly reverse course under pressure from the Catholic church.

Edward Luce, "Philippines to let boat people stay," Financial Times, February 16, 1996. C. Tsui, "Job agencies face fee changes ," South China Morning Post, February 5, 1996.