A Filipino domestic worker did not need a receipt to recover illegal fees collected from her by an employment agency, a report by Hong Kong News said.
Joan Imperial, of Naga City, said that with the assistance from the Mission for Migrant Workers (MMW), she managed to recover P70,000 of the P83,000 that she paid to her agency.
A Filipino domestic worker from Prince Edward recovered P70,000 in illegally collected fees less than three months after she filed a complaint against her employment agency.
Imperial filed her complaint at the Philippine Consulate General in Hong Kong on September 23 and got her money back on December 13. Despite without receipts for some of the payments she made, Imperial pursued her case.
“I hope that other victims of overcharging would also not be afraid,” she said in an interview.
Imperial said her Hong Kong agency offered her a job as domestic worker in August 2017. To process her application, the Filipina paid P10,000 that same month. She then paid another P10,000 when she met the owner of the agency in Manila. After Imperial had her Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar, she paid P40,000 on October 30, 2017.
She further added P23,000 for her training and medical exams. By then Imperial said she was not aware she could file a complaint until she and her friends told by MMW during a chance encounter in Admiralty.
“Someone approached us and said that, if we had fallen victim to illegal collection by agencies, we could still recover the money. We decided that, if there was a chance, we would pursue it,” she said.
Imperial said her agency in Hong Kong offered to return P50,000 at the consulate in September. She initially accepted it but later changed her mind.
“I stood my ground because the Mission said that there should be no placement fee. I said ‘Ma’am, it’s the employer who should pay,’” Imperial said.
Under Hong Kong’s laws, employment agencies can only collect up to 10 per cent of a domestic worker’s monthly salary. The current minimum allowable wage for foreign domestic worker in the city is HK$4,520 which means agencies can collect only up to HK$452 in fees.