With the growing concern over the safety, health and welfare of overseas Filipino communities, especially in Hong Kong, Labour Attaché Jalilo dela Torre has been in talks with the Hong Kong government to secure its support for the mandatory health check-ups for Filipino domestic helpers (FDHs) based on the growing numbers of morbidity cases within this population based on study of the HealthWise initiative under the Labour Attaché’s office released last year.
Various Community Talks with Labatt for the Mandatory Health Check-ups for FDHs to be Held
To follow up this initiative, Labor Attache Jalilo dela Torre has announced that he will be conducting meetings with Filipino communities starting January 20 to consult Filipino community leaders regarding his plan to require pre-employment health checks for Filipino domestic helpers, as shared in a report by the Sun.
Labatt Dela Torre had initially set the start date for the implementation of the new rule on February 15, but decided to defer it after further consultations, in response to concerns raised by affected parties, especially migrant leaders.
Among these was from Eman Villanueva of Unifil-Migrante Hong Kong who pointed out that the “fit-to-work” requirement in the original plan could result to the loss of jobs of many long-time domestic workers if their employers get worried over any abnormal readings in their medical tests.
Furthermore, the migrant group spokesperson expressed fear that some employment agencies would use this as an opportunity to make extra money from either the worker or employers.
Based on the advisory released by the office of Labatt Dela Torre to employment agencies and migrant leaders last January 8, the mandatory check-up would cover all Filipino household workers, whether new arrivals, re-contracts, or signing up with a new employer.
However, taking into due consideration of the concerns raised, Labatt Dela Torre issued a new advisory which delays the implementation of the new policy until further consultation with the key stakeholders and key partners of the Philippine Consulate General in Hong Kong.