Amid the tension-gripped events which shook the Special Administrative Region in recent months including an arrest of a Filipino national, who had been accused of involvement in the protests held in public, talks have circulated that a deployment might soon be put in place.
However, Labour Secretary Silvestre Bello III clarified that the deployment of OFWs to Hong Kong will still continue despite the circumstances surrounding the civil situation in the country. Bello shared that at the moment, there was no instruction to raise a deployment ban in the country and that this should not cause any alarm to workers flying out to the region.
Gov’t Monitors Situation Before Imposing Deployment Ban in HK
In line with this, the labour chief explained that Department of Labour and Employment (DOLE) would continue monitoring the situation in Hong Kong, and coordinate with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), which is in a better position to determine when to raise the alert level, as to when a deployment ban would be necessary, as shared in a report by the Inquirer.
Bello also noted that they will hold a meeting with the DFA and the governing board of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) to discuss measures and determine factors that would be crucial in setting a deployment ban for OFWs in Hong Kong.
In an update, the labor chief also shared that the Filipino who was detained after Hong Kong police arrested him for alleged participation in a protest in Mong Kok over the weekend has been bailed out.
The Filipino was bailed out Wednesday night after posting bail worth HKD 2,000, Bello confirmed.
Commenting on this update, Consul Paul Saret from Hong Kong shared that the Filipino was in good condition except for some bruises on his right arm that he sustained as he was pinned down by the police during the arrest.
The presiding judge who acquitted the Filipino also noted that he is free to return to work immediately.
Meanwhile, some OFWs feared to lose their jobs because they went home late. They were delayed because of trying to avoid and hide from the protest activities.
There are about 230,000 Filipinos in Hong Kong; many of which are OFWs, who were not directly affected by the protest activities during the past few days.
According to DOLE, there is no need to impose a temporary ban on the deployment of OFWs to Hong Kong at this time. However, it’s important for all Filipinos in Hong Kong to avoid being involved in public demonstrations as much as they can and to look after their safety first by not going out on days when staged protests are being held.