A tarpaulin poster hung on a roadside fence in Hong Kong displayed the identity of a terminated Filipina domestic worker who reportedly absconded with her employer’s money.
Although the poster has eventually been removed, Reylyn G. Padaoan, the Filipina helper who is now in her hometown province of La Union, is mulling over her next step after the “wanted” poster caused her shame and embarrassment.
“Masamang-masama ang loob ko, di ako nakatulog at di nakakain sa kahihiyan. Gusto long magsampa ng reklamo sa ginawa nila, kasi alam naman nila ang email at address ko na doon sana nila ako kontakin,” Padaoan said, quoted by The SUN.
Padaoan worked for employers Wong Shu Kun and wife Li Fung Yuen in Stanley, in Hong Kong’s southern district in April 2015 but was fired Sept. 2 last year.
Padaoan wondered why Wong was running after her over an alleged HK$50,000 loan. She said her female employer gave her $20,000 “as a present” in her first year of working for them. But when the maid’s husband was hired by Wong’s cousin in Macau, the employer allegedly took back her word and told Padaoan to pay back the “present”. Her husband was fired after only a month and had to return home, she said.
The Filipina helper said her female employer got mad at her for raising a complaint to the Philippine Overseas Labor Office after being asked to do construction work by the couple in their village house in Cheung Chau and a flat in Shatin.
She said Wong and Li hired four male construction workers from the mainland but told them to stay indoors, so she had to pick up the cement and other building materials herself.
Padaoan has photo evidence showing her pushing a trolley loaded with sacks of sand and cement, and doing finishing work on a tiled bathroom wall.
The couple was further angered when Padaoan reportedly refused to join them in their trip to Japan after she was told she would have to pay for her own expenses during the journey.
The helper sought POLO’s help after her contract was terminated, and was told that she was entitled to claim HK$5,128 in wages, including payment in lieu of notice, and the HK$1,000 return airfare.
Padaoan said she went to see her employers with the computation provided by POLO. But instead of talking with her, they left for the mainland. She said they refused to see her when they returned. Wong was said to be also angry because he thought Padaoan had recorded their conversation earlier.
She said she had no intention of absconding, but the couple fired her so she was forced to return home penniless and had to borrow from her cousin to buy her air ticket. The helper said she would pay back the balance if she could find another employer in Hong Kong.
Recently, a picture of the “wanted” poster which had Padaoan’s life-sized photograph hung on Peak Road was forwarded to her by a friend who saw it on Facebook.