25K OFWs may lose jobs in Hong Kong, Macau

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    ABOUT 25,000 Filipinos working overseas are at risk of losing their jobs because of the temporary travel ban imposed by the Philippines against China and its special administrative regions Macau and Hong Kong, in relation to the threat of the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

    In a statement, recruitment consultant Emmanuel Geslani said thousands of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), primarily household service workers (HSWs), fear they would lose their jobs in Macau and Hong Kong if they are unable to return to their employers by the end of the month.

    “Some 15,000 HSWs with new contracts for employers in Hong Kong and Macau have only two to three weeks to fly and join their new employers,” he said.

    He said some other 10,000 HSWs who are on vacation and have travel documents from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration as “will lose their current jobs if they cannot return on time as they have only two weeks vacation given to them by their employers.”

    Aside from those up for deployment, Geslani said, there are another 250,000 Filipino HSWs in Hong Kong and Macau, who hesitate to take a vacation for fear of being unable to return to work on time.

    A temporary travel ban to and from China, Hong Kong, and Macau was ordered by President Duterte last Sunday.

    Geslani said assistance provided by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration for those stranded in airports is not enough.

    “The workers complained that they only want to go to the jobs waiting for them in Hong Kong and Macau,” he said.

    Geslani was referring to the cash assistance, accommodation, and transportation provided by OWWA to OFWs stranded in airports.