Philippine workers power Taiwan’s tech industry

I guess Taiwanese don’t want any of the 122,000 jobs.

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My company’s factory (here in Zhonghe) floor is staffed like 99.9% by Pinays.


How much does a Pinoy in one of these factories make monthly? Is it much less than the average Taiwanese monthly salary?

Young blood for the new Taiwan. Allow them citizenship after five years legal residence. Allow them to marry taiwanese or anyone they choose while in taiwan.

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Taiwan’s gain is the Philippine’s loss. If the Philippines didn’t make it nigh-on impossible for anybody (local or foreign) to run a business there, these people would all have jobs near their families and friends. And paying taxes.

Of course the Philippine gov’t guilt-trips them all into sending cash back home, but a lot of them are getting wise to that. They stash the money away, head back to the provinces, buy a few hectares of land, and drop off the grid, never paying another cent to the gov’t who thought it would be funny to fuck them over :+1:


I really wish I could tell you. I don’t really have any way of finding out, unfortunately. My instinct is to say that is must be better than, you know, Family Mart/KFC money, but in fact that’s just speculation.

Whatever they’re getting, they ain’t spending a friggin nickel of it here, it’s all going back to the fams.

It’s not a lot different - about 35K, I believe - but the company deducts quite a lot for room and board (which tends to be of substandard quality). All things considered, it’s cheaper than hiring a Taiwanese person.

I’ve heard they can make quite a bit over and above the average by doing insane overtime hours (if available, obviously).

Yeah, that sounds about right. Again, I can’t say for sure, but I get the impression they’re dormed up in apartments with like 3 bunk beds to each bedroom.

average is about 28k.

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I met a few who make like 17 or 18. It’s awful the way these bosses have to lie, cheat and steal. I believe if you are a good businessman, you dont need to resort to underhanded tactics to get ahead.

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The agencies are compounding the problem, getting people into the country with promises of high salaries, and neglecting to tell them about the fees and deductions.

17-18K is probably after they’ve paid their “rent” and whatnot. This is a grey area that unscrupulous bosses exploit to the max, making large deductions for shitty accommodation.

Foreign factory workers are actually protected by law (in theory at least) against exploitation, but remember where they’re coming from: a country where the law only works for the rich, when it works at all, and bosses do treat their employees like shit as a matter of routine. They assume it’s the same in Taiwan, and don’t bother to speak up. When they do, the system generally makes some attempt to help them (especially if the gov’t is being deprived of tax revenue).

Also worth bearing in mind that some Taiwanese people are in similar circumstances. Doesn’t make it right - I’m just saying the problem is bit more complicated than horrible bosses.


70 percentile salary of foreign factory workers is 41.4K and mean is 28k. Caregivers’ 70 percentile is 32K. Mean is 20k.

New Economic Immigration Act shall open APRC to foreign blue collar workers with salary more than the 70 percentiles.


You know, if you and I had spent a Friday night in Intramuros and then a Saturday night in Kaohsiung on the eve of WWII, and I had told you that one day the citizens of the former would basically be slave labour for the citizens of the latter, you’d have punched me in the face, and deservedly so.

Ladies? No guys?

A lot less. It varies, but $20K-30K is what I’ve heard. Factory workers seem to make less than domestic helpers, which is counter-intuitive to me so it could just be the people I’ve come across. Anyway, deduct broker fees and whatever else the broker wants to charge for and there’s not much left. Some have it better than others, but there was a pre-May Day protest by migrant workers last Sunday with this as an issue. A family friend seemed to have a good job in Gaoxiong. I didn’t know her well, but she didn’t complain about it much and the broker even arranged group tours. Not free, but better than being stuck in the dorm.

They’re not ‘spending’ exactly, but in many cases the local brokers charge them for food and lodging. Most do get out on Sundays and there are stores and services targeted to them.

Probably everyone has heard the much-hyped news about Taiwanese industries “coming home” and expanding their operations in Taiwan creating an investment of billions of dollars and thousands of jobs. I’m better a lot of those jobs go to migrants.

Besides the downtrodden workers, I have known a few white-collar workers from the Philippines in the tech industry, and from other countries as well. I wonder if there’s a lack of software engineers in Taiwan.

Not one.

ETA: Sorry, was that a sincere query or were you thinking to trip me up on misusing pinay vs. pinoy?

A little bit of both. It seems like most of the factory workers I’ve met have been women. I wonder why that is? I see a lot of men migrant workers, too.

Edit: Construction workers. I think that’s most of what the men do.

I travel around the Philippines some and met a few that have done a two or three-year tour or whatever the limit is in Taiwan in a factory.

The three I remember talking to all had good memories about their time in Taiwan, like the money and security, and wish they can go back or stayed longer.

I think the trajectory of the Philippines was pretty predictable even pre-WW2, when predicting anything would have been unwise. But I certainly would have never guessed that Taiwan would look like it does now. In fact it’s one of the things I regularly ponder: how is it that Taiwan doesn’t now look pretty much like the Philippines, given that the two countries had striking similarities in, say 1945.

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Well, I was thinking about how Westernised and, well, modern Manila was, compared to here, At that time, anyone would have assumed that the PIs were going to come out on top of the region

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The women tend to work in light industry (electronics assembly) and the men in heavy industry (stuff involving big chunks of metal). Or construction.

There are a few Filipinos in the IT industry, but not many.