A lawmaker in the Philippines has proposed that Filipino domestic workers in Hong Kong should see an increase in their salaries.

Ancito Bertiz III proposed that there should be a 25% increase in the salaries of domestic workers, from HK$4,410 (US$562) to HK$5,500 (US$700), Business Mirror reported.

“If Hong Kong wants to stay competitive and keep on attracting dependable and educated Filipino household staff, it has to (raise their) their minimum pay,” Bertiz said.

Bertiz said Filipino domestic workers are currently paid HK$4,410, plus a food allowance of HK$1,053 per month if they are not provided free meals by the employer.

In his opinion, Hong Kong could lose up to 50% of its Filipino domestic workers due to the superior pay on offer in China, where salaries range from HK$8,600 to HK$15,500 (US$1,096 to US$1,975). He said affluent Chinese families want their children to learn English at an early age.

“This is why they are willing to offer higher pay for English-speaking Filipino staff,” he said.

According to the Philippine government, 53% of the 360,000 foreign domestic workers in Hong Kong are Filipinos.

The minimum wage for foreign domestic workers in Hong Kong is currently the highest among Asian and Middle Eastern countries, excluding China.