SANS a deployment ban, recruiters are taking the extra effort to protect overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Hong Kong, where street protests are not showing any signs of ending soon.
In a letter issued by the Society of Hong Kong-Accredited Recruiters in the Philippines (Sharp) to its members, Sharp president Alfredo Palmiery said it is imperative for their members to take the necessary actions with the ongoing protests likely to worsen.
“While Labor Secretary Bello has announced that there is no ban yet on the deployment of workers to Hong Kong in light of the ongoing protests against the ‘Extradition Law’, there is no indication that the ongoing mass action will end soon but on the contrary, it might worsen further,” said Palmiery.
He said they must advise their departing workers, including those currently in Hong Kong, not to join the rallies/protests and to stay away from them.
He added that the OFWs must be advised not to wear black or white shirts when going out of their employers’ homes and must refrain from going out if not necessary.
Palmiery said recruitment agencies must also conduct an inventory of their deployed workers in Hong Kong, including their current addresses, contact numbers, email address, Facebook accounts or other means of communications.
They must be submitted to Sharp secretary general Art Pangilinan, through firstname.lastname@example.org, for ready transmittal to the Philippine Overseas Employment Admnistration or Philippine Overseas Labor Office (Hong Kong Polo), in case of mandatory evacuation/repatriation.
Similarly, Palmiery said local recruitment agencies must advise their counterpart agencies to notify the employers not to take their domestic helpers with them if they will join the rallies/protests.
He said they must also advise their counterpart agencies to send a representative to pick up their arriving workers at the Hong Kong International Airport.
Lastly, Palmiery said they must advise their counterpart agencies to provide their arriving workers with Hong Kong SIM cards.
Earlier, Department of Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello III said that, for the moment, they do not have any adequate reason to prevent OFWs from going to Hong Kong.
This is despite the continued escalation of mass demonstrations and street protests taking place in several parts of Hong Kong. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)