Employers Dismiss 2 Filipina DHs Because of COVID-19 Fear

A Filipina domestic helper who insisted on going out to pick up her new passport at the Consulate so she could renew her work visa had been dismissed by her employer who was reportedly paranoid over the COVID-19 contagion in the city-state.

The Filipina’s case was one of two virus-related dismissals of Filipino workers in Hong Kong as reported to the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration on Feb. 20. 

Employers Sack 2 Filipina DHs because of COVID-19 Fear
Credits: Hong Kong News

2 Filipinos Sacked by Employer Due to COVID-19 Fear

Meanwhile, the other dismissal involved a domestic worker whose employer was relocating to another country and had to terminate the services of the Filipina, Welfare Officer Marivic C. Clarin noted, as shared in a report by the Sun HK.

However, the Consulate suspects that there could be others that were not reported to OWWA, as can be seen from several online postings by the dismissed OFWs themselves.

Clarin shared that the two other helpers who were stranded in Manila got dismissed a day after Tuesday’s lifting of the travel ban to Hong Kong, China, and Macau, reportedly because their employers lost their patience waiting for them to return.

According to the employer, the worker with the passport issue had insisted on going to the PCG and on to the Immigration to pick up her new passport and apply for a new work visa.

However, the same employer had reportedly said that if the maid insisted on leaving, she would have to go for good. They eventually agreed on an early release of the maid, with the employer to pay all her financial obligations to the Filipina.

Meanwhile, the other worker was dismissed by her employer who was relocating her family due to the fear that the novel coronavirus or COVID-19 was spreading rapidly among people in Hong Kong.

On Thursday (Feb. 20), public hospitals had reported to the Department of Health that they admitted 19 patients, comprising 4 males and 15 females aged 6 to 89, in the past 24 hours who met the reporting criteria for COVID-19.

Currently, there are 69 confirmed cases in and 2 COVID-related deaths in the Philippines. Five patients have been discharged upon recovery.

Meanwhile, four local employers had reportedly called to ask when their helpers could return to Hong Kong after the travel ban was lifted on Feb. 18.

Clarin explained that when the employers learned that the ban had already been lifted, they immediately booked flights for their stranded workers.

The Philippine government partially lifted the travel ban it imposed on Feb. 2 to allow tens of thousands of Filipinos to return to their homes and workplaces. But the travel restrictions on their arrival remained in place, including a 14-day self-quarantine.

Despite the travel ban being partially lifted, many opted to wait for at least another day before booking their flights because of a lack of clear guidelines from authorities.

Some of the challenges they experienced was over the waiver or declaration that overseas Filipino workers were supposed to make before being allowed to fly back to Hong Kong. Confusion grew when some netizens said the declaration was supposed to be in legal form and notarized.

ALSO READ: Travel Ban Lifted for Residents, OFWs Bound for Hong Kong, Macau 

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