I used to think Filipino employees were way way way underpaid.
But when I worked here vs. overseas, I realized why the relatively lower salaries:
1. ABSENCE WITHOUT LEAVE (AWOL) IS A CONSTANT PROBLEM
Hindi papasok kasi walang magaalaga ng anak. Gusto mag give up agad. Magprovince daw bukas, etc.
Overseas, NOBODY knows what AWOL is.
None of my friends in HK, Taiwan or SG know the term. Kasi walang nag AWOL sa ibang bansa, dito lang.
To my seas friends, AWOL means Absence Without Leave, which means your staff just disappears without informing management.
This is why Filipino companies have to overhire. If AWOL isa, may redundant hire or reliever naman. So hindi sarado ang operations. May sasalo pa din.
2. HEADCOUNT IS A PROBLEM.
In a HK restaurant, you get one cashier. One waiter. So two headcount.
In Philippine restaurant of the same size, you need to hire 3 waiters, plus one supervisor, one cashier and one manager. So instead of 2 pax you hire 6 pax FOR SAME AMOUNT OF WORK.
So instead of paying 2 people more, you have to pay 6. But revenues are the same. So given the work done per person, salaries are lower.
3. SPEED OF WORK AND PRODUCTIVITY MATTERS.
A UP graduate took 2 weeks to send out 100 orders done online. Kasi mali mali ang sulat sa address. One regular graduate in HK can do this in half a day. Just gets it right the first time around and does the next thing by the afternoon.
4. WORK ETHIC DIFFERS.
When I got to work in HK, there was no breakfast break or coffee break or merienda. Lunch was less than one hour. We would buy food and eat at our individual tables. The entire 8 hours was spent on non stop work.
Hindi katulad dito, maraming pa banjing banjing.
Some staff time in at 9, buy food downstairs, eat breakfast and only start real “work” till 10am.
Tapos will charge you overtime kasi hindi matapos ang work. Magagalit pa kasi binibilisan sila.
5. NO NEED TO WORRY ABOUT SMALL STUFF
Employees overseas work with MINIMUM supervision and get work done. Dito, you still have to double check and triple check work. Kasi kahit na sinabi nila naka double check, may mali pa din.
Also family issues and love life are NEVER discussed in a work environment sa abroad. Everyone is a professional.
The concept of Salary Loan, Bale does not really exist. Nobody goes to the boss to borrow money. As in WALA. Super nakakahiya to admit to the colleagues you don’t have your financials together.
6. MATH SKILLS HIGHER. READING COMPREHENSION SKILLS IN GENERAL ARE HIGHER.
So yes, their Math skills are way above average. Aminin na natin. Iba talaga ang math nila diyan. Next level.
7. IN GENERAL, PEOPLE OVERSEAS SPEAK MULTIPLE RELEVANT LANGUAGES.
When I was in Taiwan, people spoke in Mandarin, Fookien and relatively good English. Those who speak all three fluently earned more. Those who can only speak Chinese earned less.
In Singapore, people who spoke in Mandarin, Cantonese, and English fluently earned more. This means they can coordinate with more regions.
In Europe, if you speak more languages, you usually earn more.
In the USA, if you can speak Spanish and English, you can usually earn more.
I know that here in the Philippines, if you can speak Filipino, English, AND fluent Mandarin, salaries are at least Php 70,000 or more. Cooks who know how to speak Mandarin and make good Chinese dishes average Php 150,000 a month.
So it’s all about relevant skills and knowing how to communicate with more people. Nothing impersonal about that.
8. SIMPLE MISTAKES ARE AVOIDED. AND KUNG NAGAWA, EMPLOYEE FIXES IT. NOT THE COMPANY.
A lot of very careless mistakes happen in the Philippines. I had to pay ₱100,000 penalty because an employee did not check the logbook. This does not happen overseas. The work is more pulido.
It’s true —- you really get what you pay for. While I love working here and I love my people, in general, there is really a HUGE difference in terms of speed, output, performance, work ethics, decision making capabilities, mathematical intelligence, etc. from an AVERAGE employee here and overseas.
9. PEOPLE HERE ARE RELATIVELY MORE MAREKLAMO.
More complaints = Less time for results.
When I worked overseas, I seldom hear people blatantly complaining about their employers, pay, etc. People worked and got paid. Then went home.
Dito marami pang bruhaha about their rights, their pay, management’s treatment, etc. Given the higher need to assuage people’s feelings here, more time is spent on work. Less output is less pay. Ganun lang talaga.
10. TO BE FAIR, EVERYONE THINKS THEY ARE UNDERPAID.Ask anyone if they are earning enough. Nobody in the world will say no to more money. Universally, people want more money.
So if you think you’re alone, you’re not. Hell, I know I’m underpaid!
You employ workers to make life easier, not harder. So if your employees give you problems, then pay is lower. If they SOLVE your problems, pay is higher.
And that’s why IN GENERAL, Filipinos In the Philippines are paid less than those who work overseas.
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