Filipinos will continue to flock to Singapore to work, particularly with Resort World Sentosa (RWS) IR’s opening. This is despite an earlier promise made by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to “slow down” the intake of foreigners.
PM Lee had already defended his pro-foreigner policy in his New Year’s Day message. He stressed that foreigners are needed to fill up the jobs that Singaporeans “shun”. However, he added that Singaporeans will still remain a “priority” for his administration.
The Resorts World Sentosa IR had its official opening on January 20 and it is expected to employ around 10,000 workers when it is fully operational.
The exact percentage of Singapore citizens (not PRs) on Resort World Sentosa’s payroll has not been revealed.
Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said in April 2009 that RWS will offer around 5,000 new jobs for Filipinos. She sent a delegation to Singapore to explore prospective job opportunities for migrant Filipinos and they discussed with RWS CEO Tan Hee Teck on the available openings for Filipino workers, like for the casinos, hotels and as performers.
Coincidentally, HDB had apportioned two entire blocks of rental flats located in Toa Payoh to accommodate foreign workers of RWS, while some homeless Singaporeans have to sleep in make-shift tents in parks.
Filipinos are in high demand in Singapore due to their relatively lower wage costs compared to Singaporeans, as well as their proficiency in the English language. Though they were initially employed in industries that locals had shunned like nursing, a rising number of Filipinos are entering on S-passes to compete directly with Singaporeans for positions such as account executives, administrative executives, and mid-level managerial positions.
Even companies linked to the state, like POSB and Singpost, are employing Filipinos as their front-line staff.
The top three reasons why Singapore is the “best” place for Filipinos to work are the high pay (relative to Philippines), availability of jobs and ease of obtaining Permanent Resident status.