This pages shares a few interesting facts about Singapore. Many Overseas Filipino Workers are just 3 hours and 30 minutes away from Manila - in small island nation Singapore. OFWs are mostly house helpers but other skilled workers go there in droves. Learn some more Singapore facts to decide or adjust if you are already there.
You may have some questions in mind. What country is Singapore in? Where is Singapore located? But I am sure that knowing the answers will not prevent you from going there.
Getting a job in Singapore at this time means better life for your family. Higher wages even for domestic workers will go a long way in the Philippines.
Singapore's economy depends heavily on exports and refining imported goods, such as in electronics and chemicals sectors.
Its port handles those export and import activities, making it the busiest in the world. The country's tourism got a boost from two casinos opened recently.
OFWs in Singapore work mostly as domestic helpers. The minimum wage for domestic workers is US$400 or 17,600 pesos. This is higher than the salary of most office workers, nurses and teachers in the Philippines. Some OFWs accept lower than this amount. They reason that lower is better than nothing.
OFWs also work as teachers, nurses and IT specialists. They are in the construction industry as engineers, draftsmen and electricians. Some found their way in the tourism and hotel industry.
You can find the list of in demand jobs in the Strategic Skills List at the Ministry of Manpower website. Your skills may be among those in demand in the areas of:
The no visa entry allows Filipinos to stay in Singapore for 30 days as tourists. Some recruiters and their recruits avoid the POEA (Philippine Overseas Employment Administration) process through this. This makes OFW house helpers prone to abuse such as getting lower monthly wage and no day off.
News reports tell of human trafficking stories of Filipinas in Singapore. Sweet talking recruiters lure young women to work for better pay in pubs, restaurants and hotels. The women end up as sex slaves or forced having sex with different men.
The US State Department 2010 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report said Singapore failed to prevent women from being forced into the sex trade. The report observed that there were not enough efforts to identify more victims or put on trial more culprits.
The island nation has very strict laws with hefty fines and punishments. Bringing in chewing gum comes with S$10,000 fine! Litter or jaywalk and find out what awaits you. But such Singapore rules make living and working in this tiny island country better for OFWs.
The Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system gets you around the island in a breeze. You can get across the island within one hour through this highly efficient system. The Light Rail Transit (LRT) system augments the MRT and boosts access to housing estates. You can also use the bus service or taxis.
Things to do in Singapore during public holidays or days off come handy with the MRT and LRT. You can visit the Marina Bay Sands, Sentosa or other must see places. Just don't forget to check the weather in Singapore. It can be hot and humid with sometimes short and abrupt afternoon rains.
Working and living in Singapore can be challenging and exciting. Domestic work or skills for in demand jobs can be your license to go there. Then you will be part of those who leave the country for better work opportunities - the Filipino diaspora.