Recruiters: OFWs shunning HK market

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    WITH violence continuously ripping Hong Kong apart, interest on job opportunities in the former British colony from among aspiring overseas Filipino workers has dimmed, according to the Society of Hong Kong Accredited Recruiters of the Philippines (SHARP).

    In a statement, SHARP President Alfredo Palmiery said there has been a decline in applicants for overseas work in Hong Kong.

    “There are fewer applicants who expressed their desire in choosing Hong Kong as their destination for work, and would rather work in another Southeast Asian country,” Palmiery said.

    In particular, he said applicants for household service workers are worried about the present volatile situation in Hong Kong.

    Citing anecdotal reports, Palmiery said the number of applicants have been reduced by half, from about 10 applicants per day to only 5.

    Palmiery’s statement comes on the heels of the escalation of violence in Hong Kong that has resulted in protest-related deaths and dozens of injuries. Anti-government protesters have paralyzed transport links, vandalized mass transit stations, and turned campuses into fortresses by barricading entrances and stockpiling petrol bombs, bows, arrows, and catapults.

    For his part, recruitment analyst Emmanuel Geslani warned there could be a forthcoming mass displacement of foreign workers in Hong Kong.

    He said this is because businesses and the tourism sector have been greatly affected by the anti-government protests.

    “Many Filipinas will have to be repatriated due to the rippling effect and downward trend of the economy of Hong Kong, which has now suffered losses in the last quarter,” he said.

    “Recession is creeping in as retailers, hotels, restaurants, the stock exchange has slipped.

    So the overall effect may mean massive loss of jobs in the colony,” added Geslani.

    There are an estimated 180,000 OFWs in Hong Kong, based on government data.

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