Employment agencies in Hong Kong face suspension or cancellation of their licenses if they openly allow domestic helpers they deployed to “exit” to Macau.
Labor Attache Nenita Garcia said this in a meeting on May 21 with associations of employment agencies in Hong Kong. Garcia informed the group that the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) will strictly implement a policy by Hong Kong’s Immigration Department policy that terminated foreign domestic workers should return to their country of origin.
“It’s a Hong Kong policy talaga ng Immigration na pagka-terminated ka, dapat country of origin. Inexplain ko sa kanila na kung hindi sila susunod, we are forced to cancel or to suspend their license,” Garcia said as quoted by Filipino news source Hong Kong News.
Garcia admitted that it would be hard to enforce the policy and determine “who are doing it” but once they receive a complaint, erring agencies may be penalized.
“Sabi ko, everyone has the right to travel naman kasi. Even our (FDWs), they have the right to travel. If they want to go to Macau or any place, that we cannot control,” Garcia said.
“But pag may nagcomplain at nagkaroon ng anomalya o problema at nagcomplain dito sa POLO, that’s the only time na mag-aaction talaga kami. We made it clear to them. Sorry na lang,” she added.
The 16 agency officials who attended the meeting said they had no problem with the policy.
“Sabi nila, wala naman silang problema duon. Kaya sabi ko, I just want to make it clear to you: no exit to Macau,” she said.
Macau is a popular “exit” destination among Filipino domestic workers in Hong Kong due to shorter travel time, lower costs, among other reasons.