THE Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) yesterday belied reports on social media that it has ordered a ban of deployment ban of workers to Hong Kong or a mandatory repatriation of Filipino workers.
“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 Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III.
“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.
The social media posts said government imposed a mandatory repatriation for OFWs due to the escalation of violence and protests threatening the safety of Filipinos in Hong Kong.
Bello said DOLE has yet to receive an advisory from the Department of Foreign Affairs on the alert level that would warrant a mandatory repatriation and/or deployment ban of Filipino nationals.
“Right now, there is no communication from the consulate of Hong Kong regarding the possibility of repatriation, either voluntary or mandatory. We are in close coordination with the DFA for any development,” he said.
Also, no OFW in Hong Kong has expressed willingness to come home or seek assistance for repatriation, he said.
Bello nevertheless said his office continues to advise Filipino migrants in Hong Kong to follow advisories to stay indoors and avoid wearing white and black shirts in the streets to prevent being mistaken as protesters.
Bello also reiterated that Filipinos, who are planning to visit Hong Kong for tourism purposes, are encouraged to reschedule their trips, if possible.
For months now, Hong Kong has been rocked by a series of protest actions by pro-democracy movement, with some turning into violence, riots, and vandalism.