For years, Singapore has been one of the top destination for Filipinos who want to try they luck abroad. And there are lots of reason for that.
Here’s top 3 reasons:
Reason 1: It’s near the Philippines. Unlike other countries, if you are an OFW in Singapore you can go home as often as you can. I myself go back to Philippines almost every month. Compare to those in US, Canada, Middle East or Europe. How often do you think they go back to Philippines? Most of the time, it take years before they can go back home.
Reason 2: Cheap airfare. I remember last time the cheapest round way ticket I bought cost around $150 only. That’s quite a deal, considering that there are several budget airlines flying multiple flights daily. No other counties can offer that cheap rate. You just have to wait for the sale which happens almost every month. Booking ahead of schedule also helps as most of the sale tickets can be used on future flights.
Reason 3: No Visa needed. As member of ASEAN countries, Filipinos don’t need a visa to enter Singapore as tourist. Among the south east Asian countries, Singapore is the best option as it is the one that is highly developed and in need of more manpower. Most of the OFW’s here managed to land a job that way.
Once they arrived in Singapore, the question now is, are there available jobs in Singapore for Filipino workers?
More than 13 years ago when I first arrived in Singapore, I can say yes. There are lots of jobs then open to foreigners. In fact, I was able to land a job after first interview within a week of my application. Stayed on that company for the last 7 years of my Singapore life.
Application are done online. There are various online job sites where you can apply to the company directly. Newspaper ads also helped in finding a prospect. Just keep on sending your resume to more companies for a better chance of getting an interview that can potentially lead to employment. Once you found a company, they can apply your work pass directly to the Ministry of Manpower. After you have your work pass, you can now work legally in Singapore. Once you are already working, you can now go to the Philippine Embassy to apply for OWWA and register yourself as an overseas Filipino worker.
However, times are changing now. Especially this pandemic. Unemployment is high and most jobs available are for local citizens or permanent residence only. There are lots of sectors especially in the tourism that are really affected. Lots of big retailers and restaurant already closed their doors which resulted to workers left unemployed. Added to that those who are working in the airline industry. Unlike before where you can apply in almost any industry and you have a high chance of getting the job.
Even before the pandemic hits Singapore, applying for a job is not as easy as it was before. During the last financial crisis way back few years ago, the Singapore government already implemented measures to reduce reliance on foreign workers. Though there are sectors that they purely rely on foreign workers, they impose changes on the sectors that most local citizen are likely to work. We cannot blame them to put their citizen first over us, foreign workers.
Over the years, hiring foreign workers become very costly to the local company. Aside from high cost of levy, they also increase the required salary to hire a foreigner. This resulted to increased burden on the part of the company, leaving them no choice but to prioritize hiring local citizen first. It’s a good initiative though, aiming to help their countrymen.
These affected the prospect of finding employment in Singapore nowadays. It’s not as easy as it was more than 10 years ago. There are around 180,000 Filipino workers here in Singapore. With the current pandemic, I know for a fact that there are thousands who already lost their job and was repatriated to Philippines. There is no actual figure yet as the pandemic is still wreaking havoc to the economy.
These are tough times. The world economy is affected, not just Philippines and Singapore. Tourism is down to the very bottom. If you find yourself a job in Singapore during these days, good for you. Do your best and excel on your career.