Qatar is now home to 40,000 Filipino maids – up from 36,000 at the end of 2011, the Philippine Overseas Labor Office told local media.
POLO cited increasing demand for the rise, but a ban on these maids in Saudi Arabia and the loosening of restrictions in Qatar may also have played a role.
Their low pay – an average of QR900, or $247, according to one manpower agency – is surely another reason Filipino maids are so popular here.
Late last year, GCC countries narrowly escaped being blacklisted by the Philippines government for not doing enough to protect its workers.
But the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration has said it would review the treatment of maids in Middle Eastern countries again this month.
Whatever the result, Qatar has been hedging its bets by tapping manpower agencies to bring in workers from several other impoverished countries, including Bosnia, Cambodia, Morocco and Sudan.