Unlike other multi-national fastfood restaurants like Macdonalds and KFC which hire mainly Singaporeans and even the disabled and elderly, Jollibee Singapore intends to hire their fellow pinoys to fill up jobs in their latest Singapore venture. The Filipinio fastfood chain will be opened in Q1 this year but locations remained unknown.
Singaporeans are encouraged to boycott Jollibee Singapore to send a message that foreign businesses which hire foreigners first are not welcome in Singapore, and, businesses which targeted the Singaporean market share and profit off Singaporeans should prioritize job opportunities for Singaporeans first.
I wouldn’t say that this is really a sentiment directed against Filipinos or Filipino companies, but rather, it might be based on sentiments of Singaporeans who want to be prioritized for jobs in their home country.
Just why it seems important for Singaporeans to be prioritized for jobs in fast serve food chains is beyond me. I would imagine that Singaporeans, for the most part, target jobs in either IT Firms, Banks, and Communications companies. After all, this is why they’ve opened up their job market to thousands or millions of Pinoys — a large number of whom perform jobs the average Singaporean wouldn’t want to do.
Then again, maybe it is the influx of our less intelligent, less cultured, and less well educated countrymen that has got The Real Singapore in a fit. Or is it?
I think the last sentence gives a clue:
The PAP government has announced that it plans to increase Singapore’s population to 6 million by 2020, it is no surprise why they are now welcoming any unskilled foreigners simply to make up the number. Over the past decade, the PAP government has bent forward pandering to businesses’ appetite for cheap foreign labor. This has in turned resulted in a depression of salaries especially for the bottom 20% income earners who see their salaries stagnated over the past 13 years despite charting record GDP that the Prime Minister is so proud of. Foreign professionals, managers and engineers have also taken up jobs of Singaporeans who are seeing more retrenchment in the guise of restructuring, and salary growth below inflation rate.
I think it’s a better bet to think that Singaporeans are finding it difficult to come to terms with Filipino professionals who are just as good or even better but will work at a fraction of the pay that their Singaporean counterparts receive.
Thing is, the sentiment to keep foreign workers out from higher paying jobs isn’t at all unique to Singpore. People in the US have similarly raised a howl over the inundation of “migrant workers” from Mexico and everywhere else.
In any case, there seems to be a response from the Singaporean government and that is to somewhat tighten the inflow of foreign workers. In a press statement, the Ministry of Manpower said Foreign Worker Levy rates (read that as the amount of money paid to hire a foreign worker) would be increased and Dependency Ratio Ceilings (read that as the percentage of foreign vs. Singaporean employees) would be decreased.
I think it might yet be another indication of the OFW Bubble Bursting — if you looked at it together with Saudization and other similar developments.
The OFW Bubble Burst, of course, isn’t going to happen because the demand for cheap labor (which we are at this point) has shrunk or is shrinking to the point of being almost non-existent. The thing is, it’s still a pretty safe bet that the countries that we’ve been sending OFWs to for decades will definitely continue to need manpower. However, what is different these days may be that “OFW job sources” may be looking into ways of cutting the already low cost of using foreign workers.
A couple of years back I learned that some OFWs being sent to Saudi were going for as low as $300 a month and a former employee of mine vetted this, saying her husband recently left of a job paying $250 a month!
What the frick? That’s like P10,000 a month, if at all you can send it all home and it’s a pittance, really, for being away from your family!
It is perhaps this situation, Filipinos hiring themselves our for extremely low pay and being seen as a threat to the local job seekers in the countries they are working in, that has had politicians here in the Philippines mouthing “job creation” as the solution.
All in all, what this really spells out is a tougher time for people who seek jobs abroad and as for Filipinos in Singapore, I don’t think it will help much at all if their fellow OFWs there are seen as a nuisance of sorts online.
Take the case of a certain Carlos R Pestano III whose behavior was put on the spotlight in the Singapore Seen Stomp:
Here’s an excerpt from that article:
Seagate Technology has apologised on their facebook page for comments made by one of their engineers who called some Singaporeans ‘rotten’ and ‘bitter’.
In a post on their facebook page, Seagate made it clear that they were aware of the offensive comments and apologised for them. They also promised to look into the matter immediately and take the ‘necessary disciplinary measures where needed’.
More than ten STOMPers had written in over the insensitive comments, which had been posted on his personal facebook page. According to his facebook page, the engineer is a Filipino working in Singapore.
Here are some STOMPers’ comments regarding the incident.
STOMPer Angry bird wrote:
“Look at this proud Pinoy FT working in Seagate calling us locals ‘rotten’.
“Should we send him back to where he belongs?”
“As you can see in the screenshot taken below on his profile page, it shows his comments on Singaporeans on facebook, viewable by everyone.
“He is listed as a member of Seagate, a Process Engineer at Seagate Technology International (W1).”
“He refers to Singaporeans as ‘rotten locals’, calls us ‘bitter’, and says most of us are ‘working under us (Pinoys)’.”
Samm also commented:
“Look at this Filipino’s remarks about Singaporeans.
“I came across a photo on facebook.
“A Filipino working in Seagate, based in Singapore, is making racist remarks about locals.
“I do not condone his language used because they are offensive and mean.
“It will just stir up more angst between the foreign talents and locals here.”
“This is really disturbing.
“This Pinoy guy should get fired by Seagate.”
And there are other Filipinos in Singapore waiting to be reported…