Department of Labor and Employment
20 October 2019
No mandatory repatriation yet in HK – DOLE
There is yet no order for mandatory repatriation or deployment ban for Filipino workers in Hong Kong, the labor department said over the weekend.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III made the clarification amid the spread of social media posts, claiming the government had imposed a mandatory repatriation for OFWs due to the escalation of violence and protests threatening the safety of Filipinos in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory.
He said the DOLE is yet to receive an advise from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on the alert level that would warrant a mandatory repatriation of Filipino nationals.
“Right now there is no communication from the DFA and even from the consulate of Hong Kong regarding the possibility of repatriation, either voluntary or mandatory. We are in close coordination with the DFA for any development,” Bello said.
He added that the labor attaché in Hong Kong is updated on the date, time, and venue of the protests on a 24/ 7 basis and immediately issues a weekly advisory for public awareness.
Bello encouraged the public to ignore the proliferation of fake news on social media and in other web pages and rely on the advisories and news bulletin issued by the Philippine consulate and by DOLE.
“I urge the public to ignore this fake news on the internet. For those spreading it, please stop and let us not aggravate the situation and endanger our OFWs. We should help our OFWs there by not giving them false news about [mandatory] repatriation,” Bello added.
On the other hand, Bello said that despite the civil disturbance, no OFW in Hong Kong has expressed willingness to come home or seek assistance for repatriation.
Meantime, the Philippine consulate advised Filipino migrants in Hong Kong to follow the advisories of the government to stay indoors if necessary and avoid wearing white and black shirts in the streets to prevent being mistaken as protesters.
Filipinos who are planning to visit Hong Kong for tourism purposes are also encouraged to reschedule their trips if possible. #Paul Ang