Thursday, 18 April 2013

S'pore Foreign Manpower Policy

Update 25 Apr 2013
Tourists looking for work as maids to be denied permits

MOM responds to ST report on agencies trying to skirt placement fee rule

In a statement to The Straits Times, it added that foreign maids already working here who are found to have entered Singapore as tourists will have their work permits revoked.

The MOM was responding to a report by The Straits Times last week, in which maid agencies said they were planning to bring Filipino women here as tourists instead of going through the legitimate route of declaring to the Philippine government that they are overseas workers.

This is to get around Manila's regulations stating that employers should bear domestic workers' placement fees, which on average cost $2,000, or four months' salary.

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Nearly 150,000 Pinoys in danger of losing jobs with new Singapore policy

Close to 150,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFW) in Singapore are in danger of losing their jobs after the Singaporean government decided to strictly implement a policy in July which will limit the number of foreign workers in that country.

According to "State of the Nation's" Victoria Tulad, the Singaporean Ministry of Man Power (MoM) will be limiting the number of foreign workers because of complaints from the locals.

The report said Singapore locals are claiming that foreign workers are becoming competition when it comes to job hunting, education, housing, and social services.

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DOLE allays fears on Singapore manpower policy

The reduction of foreign manpower in Singapore should not be a cause for serious concern, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said on Wednesday.

Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said the Singaporean government has amended its Employment of Foreign Manpower Act (EFMA) in July 2012 restricting the entry of foreign workers due to a policy shift.

“But this does not mean foreigners will no longer be permitted into Singapore to work. On the contrary, the Singapore business sector has made its position known favoring the employment of more foreign workers, not withstanding the restrictive policies of the Singaporean government,” explained Baldoz.

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Stricter Singapore foreign work policy, not worrisome

The Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) allayed fears of possible mass displacement of overseas Filipino workers (OFW) in Singapore after the island-state recently implemented stricter measures in hiring foreign nationals.

Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz in a statement on Wednesday said the recent amendment in Singapore’s Employment of Foreign Manpower Act (EFMA) will not ban foreigners from entering its labor market.

"The Singapore government has amended its EFMA in July 2012 restricting the entry of foreign workers due to a policy shift. But this does not mean foreigners will no longer be permitted into Singapore to work,” Baldoz said. There are about 150,000 documented OFWs in Singapore.

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Foreign workers: No further plans to tighten policy

THERE are no further plans to tighten the foreign worker policy unless their numbers rise well above the targeted one-third level, said Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam.

The Government, he added, is determined to cap the number at this level, even as many sectors will always need foreign workers.

Locals, including permanent residents, accounted for about 66.4 per cent of employed workers as at December 2012. Foreigners, excluding domestic workers, formed the remaining 33.6 per cent. 

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Govt will not U-turn on foreign manpower policies in near future: Tan Chuan-Jin

Acting Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin said the government will not be changing its decision on the tightening of foreign manpower policies for the foreseeable future.

The focus he said is to help companies ease off their dependence on foreign labour and succeed in the adjustment process.

Mr Tan was speaking at a recording of Channel NewsAsia's programme "Ask Minister". Mr Tan said: "I think I need to be quite definitive here, so that the signal is clear because I would say for some time, I would say the industry was thinking that government will make a U-turn so therefore the changes perhaps did not quite happen. I think people were hoping that if the pressure was high enough, we will make adjustments and so on. And we notice that as a result of that, the propensity to do the way we do things was not so significant."

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Freezing foreign manpower growth will hurt S’poreans: Tan Chuan-Jin

Acting Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin has said that the opposition Workers’ Party’s proposal for a zero-foreign manpower growth in this decade, when put in practice, will hurt Singaporeans.

Speaking in Parliament today on the Population White Paper, Mr Tan noted that in fact, the strategies outlined in the paper has opted for slower growth and a significant reduction in the foreign labour force numbers.

He noted Singapore cannot continue on the same growth trajectory as before but what it needs to decide on is the pace of growth that will bring benefits to citizens, and in achieving this, the country will need to transit carefully.

Singapore: From Economic Powerhouse to The Sick Man of ASEAN?

Singapore ‘s economy contracted by 0.6% in the first quarter of 2013 compared with the corresponding quarter of 2012.  On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally adjusted annualized basis the economy contracted by 1.4%.  Since year-on-year growth is now negative does that mean we are now officially in recession?

No. The accepted convention for defining a recession is two consecutive quarters of negative growth.  And thanks to some deft footwork by the Statistics Department the government has avoided that label being applied to the economy.   The result is that technically Singapore has so far been spared a double dip recession even though many Singaporeans might feel as though a thief has been double dipping from their pockets.

Singapore was in fact only saved from a technical recession by the downward revision of GDP growth in the first and third quarters of the year.  Initial estimates of GDP growth at a quarter-on-quarter seasonally adjusted annualized rate in Q1 2012 were 9.8% but this was revised down to 9.5% in the fourth quarter revisions. Similarly a decline of -1.5% on an equivalent basis in the third quarter was also revised down to a decline of -6.3% (see here for details). By taking growth from the previous three quarters and putting it into the fourth quarter, the end result was that fourth quarter growth came in at a positive 1.8% quarter-on-quarter annualized rate

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Acting Minister Chan Chun Sing Sees The Elderly As Income Opportunity For Businesses

Breakfast Network, 17 Apr 2013

A rapidly ageing society isn’t all bad – for businesses, it’s a big potential market to make lots of money.

That’s the message from Acting Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing when he spoke yesterday at the annual Ageing Asia Investment Forum.

He said: “Many people have used the words ‘silver tsunami’ as if this is a disaster that’s going to happen… An ageing population is not a crisis, if we prepare well.

“Whoever masters the circumstances well will conquer the market,” the minister was quoted in ST.   Full story

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