By Ferdinand Patinio
MANILA — There is no need to impose a ban on the deployment of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to Hong Kong, for now, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said on Thursday.
With this, DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III noted that they have yet to receive a recommendation from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) regarding the situation in the island.
“The DFA has not yet raised the alert level in Hong Kong. We are waiting for their recommendation before we make any action or temporarily suspend the deployment of our OFWs in Hong Kong,” said the DOLE chief in a statement.
He added that the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) is closely monitoring the situation in the Chinese territory.
Bello also directed labor officials there to provide him with a periodic report on the situation should tension escalate.
At the same time, he advised OFWs to stay indoors and avoid going to areas where protests are happening.
“We urge our household service workers in Hong Kong to stay in their workplaces for the time being and avoid the streets where protests are held. We are closely monitoring the situation,” the DOLE head said.
Likewise, he discouraged the Filipinos from wearing white or black shirts while on the streets to avoid being mistaken as protesters and prevent untoward incidents.
Earlier, Bello urged OFWs there to respect curfew of the host country and also to refrain from going out after finishing their work.
The protest actions in the former British colony have affected the arrival and departure at the Hong Kong International Airport as thousands of protesters have entered the facility, thus affecting its operations.
The protests stemmed from a bill that would allow extraditions to mainland China.
Majority of Filipino workers in Hong Kong are household service workers. (PNA)