68-Year-Old Filipina Domestic Helper Dies Doing Part-Time Work in Hong Kong

A frail Filipina domestic worker who was performing part-time work at the height of a typhoon in Hong Kong died at the home of her part-time employer.

RG, who would have turned 69 last month, reportedly called up her friend Joan at 10:11pm that day, saying she was unwell and sought for help. However, it took awhile for the ambulance to get to her because Joan couldn’t give the exact address and she had already gone back to her own employer’s house.

It was only after police assistance was summoned and picked up Joan in the process that RG was found in the Kotewall Road flat at 11pm. Police had to use force to get inside the flat, only to find RG already dead.

The owner of the house, a lawyer, was said to be on vacation in Bali, Indonesia at the time, but was due back the next day. RG was asked to look after the house and two dogs while the owner was away.

RG’s full-time employer, who was often away for job-related travel, had reportedly told police she was not in Hong Kong at the time, and was unaware of the helper’s part-time work.

One of the woman’s six grown-up children, said they had been asking their mother to give up her work in Hong Kong because of her age and health condition. But their mother, who has been in Hong Kong for 34 years, reportedly refused. She had heart surgery a few years ago, and was constantly in pain. Joan, her friend, told Filipino newspaper The SUN that she accompanied RG a few times to the hospital because of her problem.

RG reportedly beged her employer to keep signing her work contract, because of the free medical care she gets in Hong Kong. Besides her legitimate contract, RG earned extra money doing part-time work, including cleaning a few serviced apartments. Much of the money was reportedly sent home to her family in Quezon City.

But despite the money she is earning, RG’s life in Hong Kong is lonely. She would call Joan every few minutes for a chat or ask her to accompany her on some part-time work.

“For example, last Oct. 4, I saw more than 100 missed calls from her,” said Joan, who claimed that earlier on the day she died, the two of them were together, and even took a video of them talking and playing with the dogs in the house of the parttime employer.

RG’s remains are currently in Victoria Mortuary in Kennedy Town, and the Philippine Consulate General’s assistance to nationals section is working on the funeral arrangements. The Mission for Migrant Workers is coordinating with the family and the employer on the timing of the repatriation.