By Leslie Ann Aquino
Despite the protest actions in Hong Kong, a recruitment consultant said there is no need for the Department of Labor and Employment to impose a temporary deployment ban for overseas Filipino workers there.
Emmanuel Geslani said the over 250,000 overseas Filipino workers working in that Special Administrative Region know how to take care of themselves.
“Our OFWs in Hong Kong have survived massive rallies and civil disobedience movements previously and they are familiar with the areas of demonstrations so they know how to avoid these areas,” he said in a statement.
“Most of our OFWs who are working as Household Service Workers live in residential areas which are quite far from downtown Hong Kong and government offices,” added Geslani.
He said a temporary ban will also do more harm with the country’s relations with the Hong Kong government.
“Another knee-jerk reaction of a ban will seriously affect our workers in Hong Kong most especially with the employers who have hired the services of foreign recruitment agencies for the supply of qualified HSW,” Geslani said.
“There are contractual obligations that our local recruitment agencies are duty-bound to implement with the FRAs in Hong Kong and any disruption no matter if its temporary will affect our OFWs,” he added.
Meanwhile, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said there is no decision yet on the mulled deployment ban amid the anti-government demonstrations there.
He said they are still waiting for the assessment of the Department of Foreign Affairs as well as the periodic reports of their Labor Attaché in Hong Kong.
“If the situation worsens, they would have to give us a periodic report since a possible deployment ban is under consideration. But right now, there is no increase in alert level. So deployment remains normal,” Bello said.