By Analou De Vera
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Sunday said that there was no order for mandatory repatriation or a deployment ban issued for overseas Filipino workers (OFW) in Hong Kong.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III issued the statement amid the spread of false information on social media, claiming that the Philippine government had already imposed an order for the mandatory repatriation of OFWs due to the escalation of violence and protests in Hongkong.
“There is yet no order for mandatory repatriation or deployment ban for Filipino workers in Hong Kong… I urge the public to ignore this fake news on the internet,” said Bello.
READ MORE: No plans to repatriate OFWs in HK – DOLE
Bello appealed to the public to help OFWs by not spreading false news.
“For those spreading it, please stop and let us not aggravate the situation and endanger our OFWs. We should help our OFWs there by not giving them false news about mandatory repatriation,” he added.
“[I] encouraged the public to ignore the proliferation of fake news on social media and in other web pages and rely on the advisories and news bulletin issued by the Philippine consulate and by DOLE,” he added.
The Secretary continued saying that they are in close coordination with the DFA.
“Right now there is no communication from the DFA and even from the consulate of Hong Kong regarding the possibility of repatriation, either voluntary or mandatory,” he said.
He assured that the labor attaché in Hong Kong issues a weekly advisory for public awareness and is updated on the date, time, and venue of the protests 24/7.
The labor chief urged Filipino migrants in Hong Kong to follow the government’s advisory to stay indoors if necessary; and avoid wearing white and black shirts in the streets to prevent being mistaken as protesters.
“Filipinos who are planning to visit Hong Kong for tourism purposes are also encouraged to reschedule their trips if possible,” he added. (With reports from MB Online)