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Filipino-Chinese Philanthropist: Help on the way for Stranded 2,000 OFWs in Hongkong
Filipino Chinese philanthropist Dr. James Dy today donated 2 million pesos to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) as additional assistance to helping Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) stranded in Hongkong due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Two thousand OFWs have remained stranded in Hongkong since last year. Hongkong immigration officials had refused to allow citizens from eight countries it deemed high risk due to the coronavirus, including the Philippines, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration reported.
“We need to help our fellow kababayans there in Hongkong; most of them are domestic service workers who do not have enough monies to sustain their stay on the island. Based on reports, most of those stranded are now at airports waiting for immigration authorities to allow them to enter the territory,” says Dr. Dy, president emeritus of the Philippine-Chinese Charitable Association Incorporated, the most prominent Filipino-Chinese organization since the 18th century. Dy also heads the Chinese General Hospital that helps ailing OFWs.
The donated 2 million pesos could help fund food and other stuff needed by these stranded OFWs to survive their stay on the island of Hongkong. Filipino consulate officials are also funding communication expenses by these stranded Filipinos.
Officials of the Overseas Worker’s Welfare Administration or OWWA are likewise actively helping these stranded Filipinos. Filipino consul to Hongkong Raly Tejada assured the government to assist these stranded OFWs continuously.
The Philippine consulate is currently working on the repatriation of stranded OFWs, says Tejada.
Reports, however, indicate that the wait might take a long time since the current travel ban is just an extension of a previous decision to ban Filipino citizens from entering Hongkong. Last year, more than 3,000 OFWs got stranded due to the travel ban.
Deployment of domestic service workers to Hongkong was allowed late last year after COVID19 restrictions eased. However, the Hongkong government still refused citizens’ entry from countries under its high-risk categories.