Friday 21st of February 2014

ILOILO CITY, Feb. 21 (PIA) — Ilonggo overseas foreign workers (OFWs) in Hong Kong are optimistic that the Philippine government can resolve the diplomatic rift with the Special Administrative Region.

Clara Gamuza, 54, a household service worker (HSW), said that she believes friendship and good ties of the past will still prevail despite the row between the Philippines and Hong Kong which started with the 2010 hostage crisis.

Gamuza, originally from Miagao town here has been working in the Chinese territory for 24 years now.

She said that our government can still mend the rift using diplomatic channels and believes that HK would no longer impose further sanctions especially involving OFWs.

The HK government implemented the first phase of sanctions by suspending the 14-day visa-free arrangement for those holding diplomatic and official passports beginning February 5.

She said that while the OFWs are not affected by this particular policy, the HK officials might have realized the immense implications if the sanction would escalate to Filipino OFWs.

According to the International Organization for Migration, up to 7.9 percent of OFWs go to Hong Kong.

“If Hong Kong will implement the deployment ban for OFWs, a number of HK middle-class professionals cannot work for they would have to take care of their children,” Gamuza said.

She also said that Hong Kong families prefer to hire Filipino OFWs particularly domestic helpers because Filipinos are loving and caring and they can teach the children to speak English.

On one hand, Janet Alonte, 45, of Guimaras, who has been working in the special administrative region for 24 years also, said she remains confident that the Philippine and HK government would settle the issue amicably.

She said that Filipino household workers like her are maintaining good relations with their employers and following rules and regulations in Hong Kong.

She also said that she is fortunate to have understanding employers who have treated her like a member of the family.

She said that the 2010 hostage incident has not affected her relationship with her employers and that they value her opinions on family matters. (JCM/LTP/PIA-Iloilo)
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