Another Guimaras Domestic Helper Bites the Dust

It’s a recurring theme in our island province. Yes, “Another Guimaras Domestic Helper Bites the Dust.” We’re losing our sixth household assistant in the past four years.

The Problems of Finding Good Help

While the first domiciliary aide we hired stayed with us for two years before returning to school, we haven’t had any help since that’s lasted past five or six months.

Our current domestic helper is leaving because her mother-in-law does not want to care for our assistant’s two small children anymore. It took two months to find the young woman who was only employed with us for a few months.

However, we’re not the only employers in Guimaras looking for new domestic helpers. Alida, my sister-in-law on our island province, is also looking for help. She recently had a live-in helper who only stayed for a week.

Construction workers and laborers haven’t been that difficult to find in Guimaras, at least not for Alida’s husband, Joery. My brother-in-law has hired two workers that are helping him build a new 2nd grade classroom for Alida’s private school, Guimaras Joyful Preschool.

Does Anyone Want to Work?

Nevertheless, trying to find household help is extremely problematic. We pay 4,000 pesos a month salary, 80 US dollars, twice the recommended amount prescribed by the Dept. of Labor for our region of the Philippines. The recommended rate of pay for Metro Manila domestic helpers is 3,500 a month.

Our employees have every Sunday off plus we provide free room and board. However, it seems that many people do not want to work as a domestic aide on our island province.

In fact, my better half informs me that in one part of Guimaras where we had previously found a helper, the locals are using high-interest 5/6 loans to get by.

While it’s true that some locals choose to work abroad where they can obtain a higher salary, not everyone wants to leave their families for employment overseas.

However, the lack of domestic helpers is not only confined to Guimaras. A long-time expat friend in nearby Iloilo province reports to me that he has the same problem.

My wife, who toiled overseas for years before we met, worked as a domestic helper and caretaker in Singapore and Taiwan. Her sister Marjorie has been employed in Kuwait as a domestic helper, DH, for over seven years.

We did have one household aide who had previously worked in Lebanon. She was the best domestic helper we ever had and cleaned everything in the house thoroughly. However, her attitude on the job didn’t match her cleaning skills and she eventually walked off the job after six months.

On the Verge of Giving Up

Truthfully, my spouse is giving up on finding a new domestic helper for us in Guimaras. My better half has not been satisfied with the quality of work from the majority of the former employees.

My wife has high standards when it comes to housekeeping having worked overseas before, as mentioned earlier. I guarantee you that many overseas employers will not keep a Filipina that doesn’t do her job; they know there are thousands of available caretakers and helpers in the Philippines waiting to work abroad.

It’s a conundrum. Currently, our niece that lives with is helping us out Mondays through Thursdays. On every Friday, Saturday and Sunday she has to travel to Iloilo City for review classes regarding her upcoming Teacher Board Examinations in September. Our nephew Sherwin is back in school and helps out in the early morning and on the weekends. That leaves only Friday where we don’t have any extra help.

Laundry day in the Philippines

Laundry day is an exceptionally busy time

My asawa doesn’t want a part-time helper. She also doesn’t want any more household assistants like we’ve had in the past year.

One might believe that if we pay a higher salary we could find a new helper. Again, we are paying twice the recommended salary for our region of the Philippines. To our knowledge, the top salary we’ve heard anyone paying on Guimaras is 4,500 pesos a month, 500 a month below our current salary offer.

I would be more than willing to kick in another 500 or 1,000 pesos to find a good worker. Once our niece completes her Teacher Boards in September she’ll be working at my sister-in-law’s preschool in Guimaras and living there. We have time to find a new domestic helper but it won’t be easy by any means.

And so goes life in “paradise.” Perhaps we would be better off importing workers from other countries such as Mexico who are willing to work. Who knows?

Author: The Kano

POST AUTHOR: "THE KANO" aka "THE CRUSTY OLD EXPAT." Dave DeWall, "The Kano", is the Publisher & Editor-in-Chief of "Philippines Plus" in publication since August 2009. He is also the CEO of Lizard Poop Productions and author of the best-selling guide book "The Philippines Expat Advisor." Dave moved to the Philippines in July 2009 from Central Illinois with his lovely wife of over 18 years, "The Sainted Patient Wife." The couple reside in a rural province in Western Visayas, Guimaras. The small island province is said to have the sweetest mangoes in the world. They do not have any children but are the proud owners of eight active canines, including a Belgian Shepherd called "Killer" "Killer" has bitten five people in the last two years along with one goat and a carabao. "Killer" doesn't like strangers. Or goats. Or carabaos.