Two Filipino foreign domestic workers (FDWs) were sentenced in the State Courts last Thursday (26 September) for working without a valid work pass under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act (EFMA).

According to a media release from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), the duo - 39-year-old Jenalyn Masirag Gannaban and 50-year-old Obillo Arlene Manale - had assisted other FDWs to secure loans from licensed moneylenders (LMLs), and were earning a profit from it.

Gannaban and Manale were fined S$8,000 and S$5,000 respectively. Their work permits will be revoked, and they will be barred from entering and working in Singapore.

Case details

MOM's investigations revealed that between June 2017 and November 2018, both Gannaban and Manale assisted fellow FDWs to obtain loans from VM Credit located at Waterloo Street. They did so by scheduling appointments with the licensed moneylender on behalf of the FDWs.

In return, both Gannaban and Manale received between S$10 and S$30 from fellow FDWs for the assistance they rendered for each approved loan. From engaging in such activities, the former earned about S$100 to S$150 per month while the later earned about S$300 to S$400 per month.

Under the EFMA, FDWs are deemed to be working without a valid work pass if they hold a second job. This includes engaging in any other work or activity for the purposes of gain or otherwise.

If convicted, FDWs can be fined up to S$20,000 or imprisoned for up to two years, or both. They will also have their work permits revoked, sent home and barred from working in Singapore.

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