No ban on OFW deployment to HK — DOLE

August 15, 2019
Silvestre Bello III

THE Department of Labor and Employment yesterday said the deployment of workers to Hong Kong continues despite the mounting protests and civil disturbance in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory.

Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III said the labor department is yet to receive a recommendation from the Department of Foreign Affairs for a temporary deployment ban, even as the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) is closely monitoring the situation.

“The DFA has not yet raised the alert level in Hong Kong. We are waiting for their recommendation before we make any action or temporarily suspend the deployment of our OFWs in Hong Kong,” he said.

Bello also directed the labor officials in Hong Kong to provide him with periodic reports on the situation and especially if unrest escalates.

Meanwhile, he advised OFWs to stay indoors and avoid going to areas where protests were concentrated.

“We urge our household service workers in Hong Kong to stay in their workplaces for the time being and avoid the streets where protests are held. We are closely monitoring the situation,” the labor chief said.

He also discouraged the Filipino migrants in the tourist country from wearing white or black shirts while on the streets to avoid being mistaken for protesters.

Defer travel

The Philippine Consulate General in Hong Kong also advised Filipinos to avoid specific areas in the city where protests will be held.

Protests are set to be held at Wan Cai Taxation Office on August 15; Chater Garden, Central to Central Government Offices, Admiralit; Hung Hom Pier to Sung Wong Toi Garden, Kowloon, Aug. 17'; Victoria Park, Causeway Bay to Charter Road, Central, Aug. 18; “Clean up MTR carriages”, Aug. 19 and Kwai Tiang Theatre, Kwai Chung to Tsuen Wan Park, Aug 25.

The Consulate General said it received reports that demonstrators will gather in these areas.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) also issued an urgent announcement for those planning to visit Hong Kong.

It advised Filipinos “to defer any travel to Hong Kong until the present situation is resolved.”

With Cristina Lee-Pisco