PH Consulate commends HK decision to review mandatory vaccine policy for foreign helpers

Published May 5, 2021, 8:23 AM

by Jaleen Ramos

The Philippine Consulate on Tuesday thanked the Hong Kong government for its “understanding” and in ordering a review of the mandatory vaccination of all foreign domestic helpers against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

AFP/ MANILA BULLETIN/ FILE

“We thank Chief Executive Carrie Lam and Hong Kong government for their understanding and magnanimity,” the country’s consulate said in a statement on Tuesday.

“We stand ready to work and engage with the Hong Kong Government and other concerned Consulates General in constructive dialogue on this important issue,” it added.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor on Tuesday said health authorities would review the mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy for foreign helpers following discrimination concerns.

“We have never done [mandatory vaccinations] before, so I have asked the secretary for labor to review the whole policy, such as the rationale and feasibility, and to consult advisers and consulates for the countries where domestic workers primarily come from as to whether compulsory vaccinations can be done, or if it will cause other problems if we proceed,” Lam said in a South China Morning Post report on Tuesday.

The Philippine Consulate General in Hong Kong, meanwhile, has encouraged all Filipinos in the region to avail of Hong Kong’s free and voluntary vaccination program.

The mandatory testing came after two domestic workers from the Philippines were found to be infected with mutated strains of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) virus.

Hong Kong migrant worker groups on Saturday hit the new measures, labeling the move “discriminatory and unjust”.

“This is clearly an act of discrimination and stigmatization against migrant domestic workers,” Dolores Balladares Pelaez, chairman of United Filipinos in Hong Kong, told AFP.

 
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