A recent post by a foreign PMET on expat.com, a popular expat forum, had revealed how companies can run rings around Singapore’s Manpower Ministry (MOM) in order to get more foreigners to work in their companies.
The foreigner, apparently from the Philippines, wrote that his company applied for him an S-Pass on 21 Jan this year but was rejected 2 weeks later on 1 Feb. The reason, being not having enough quota, was given by MOM, as S-Pass foreign applicants are subjected to quota considerations.
According to the foreigner, the company was, somehow, able to “fix” the issue within 2 weeks but deliberately waited for another 2 weeks before making an appeal. “My company already fixed the issue about quota requirement but waited for another two weeks before the quota to be updated in the system,” he said.
“[sic] March 1 2019 – System was updated with new quota availability for FT. Company apply for appeal,” he added revealing that the company appealed for him exactly 1 month after his S-Pass was rejected by MOM.
The foreigner even boasted about the deliberate delay the company incurred so as to make the appeal look “genuine”. He said, “[sic] Also, the time interval to fixed the issue is really genuine because it MOM saw it as something that is not forced right away.”
Finally, on 12 Mar, his S-Pass appeal was approved. It’s not known what the company miraculously did in such a short time to restore its foreign quota so as to hire the Filipino.
He continued, “[sic] For people like me who have waited for quite sometime for pass to be approved do not lose hope. All we can do is wait. I think MOM. Let them do their job and avoid making follow up almost every day because that wont help. Being impatient tells a lot with the company and the employees character.”
“[sic] FYI. I have given up my hopes when it got rejected the first time. I am actually set to work in my home country and what i got this news,” he said. “Moral lesson, if it is meant to be it is meant to be. Do your part and just let it be. It is always 1/3 hardwork 1/3 luck and 1/3 universe.”
Government continues to issue work pass for companies to hire foreigners
Despite yesterday’s (14 Jun) media reports of MOM’s figures showing that retrenchment in Singapore is going up while job vacancies are going down, the government continues to import foreign PMETs non-stop into Singapore, saying that Singapore needs “talents”:
This policy of the relentless importation of foreign PMETs can be traced to what MAS MD Ravi Menon said at an IPS conference last year. He told everyone that Singapore needs to hire more foreign PMETs.
“There is scope to improve the quality of the foreign workforce,” he said. “We should increasingly be concerned about the skills of the foreign workers that we take in, rather than just the numbers.”
“The trend of improving quality in our foreign workforce has already begun,” he commented. “The proportion of work permit holders has declined by about 10 percentage points over last 10 years, while the proportion of S-Pass and employment pass holders has increased by around 10 percentage points.”
Meanwhile, it was reported that netizens are concerned about the latest dismal figures from MOM (‘Netizens express concerns over employment after MOM report reveals larger sum of retrenched individuals in Q1 are PMETs‘).
For example, Facebook user Livia Ong pointed out that it is worrying to see employers are replacing retrenched residents with non-Asian expats. She added if employers are not giving locals a chance to develop their skills and progress in their job, it will result to them “forever not be able to take on global roles, progress upwards”.
As such, she wants MOM to “look into the hiring practices of companies including global MNCs”.
In any case, the Filipino whose S-Pass was approved by MOM at least bothered to thank Singapore in his writings. He ended his post saying, “Thank you Singapura for this opportunity.”