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Newly fired DH sees redemption in LET

04 October 2017

Domestic worker Joann Tamundong would have returned to the Philippines days before the exam after being terminated by her Hong Kong employer of four months.

“Hinintay ko lang talaga ang LET para makapag-exam dito bago ako uuwi,” the thirtyish woman told The SUN in a street interview in Kwun Tong after the special Licensure Examination for Teachers on Sept 24 for Hong Kong OFWs.

“Kapag pumasa ako, magtuturo na ako. Hindi na ako mag-o-OFW,” she said.

It was the second time that Tamundong had taken the exam. She first sat for the LET in 2013 when she was teaching in a private elementary school in her home province Tarlac, but failed to pass it.

Then the call of overseas work came and she went to Oman to serve an Arab family. She finished her two-year contract and applied for a job in Hong Kong, a dream destination for many Middle East OFWs who are virtual prisoners in their Arab employers’ homes.

But Hong Kong was a big disappointment for Tamundong, who paid Php39,000 for training, medical and other pre-departure fees just to come here. “Nakaka-stress, iba ang ugali nga mga amo. Masyadong demanding. Grabe! Kulang na lang hindi ka hihinto,” she said.

Perhaps due to the stress she forgot to bring along her registration fee receipt and was almost not allowed to take the exam. Fortunately, said exam supervisor Gregorio Delloro, the Professional Regulation Commission team decided to let her take the test first, then go and get the receipt from her shelter afterwards.

Asked how she fared in the exam, Tamundong said it was difficult, especially the General Education test. But then, she said the questions were the same as in the exam in 2013, but were just rephrased this year.

Tamundong was to fly home on Sept 27, but would return in October to try her fortune with another employer.

But what if she passed the LET?

She said she would work for her new employer until her new contract ran out, then go home for good and teach in Tarlac. “Tatapusin ko lang ang contract ko dahil hindi maganda ang mag-break, lalo na galing ako sa termination,” she said.

Buddies Jhona May Alicaycay (left)
and Cyrill Mariano. 
Another examinee, Cyrill Mariano from Isabela, tugged her small suitcase to Delia Memorial School Hip Wo, the exam venue, as she traveled all the way from Macau to take the licensure exam. After the test, she headed back to Macau, tired but exuberant.

“Pasado ba?” asked Gemma Lauraya, president of the National Organization of Professional Teachers, when Mariano and her buddy Johna May Alicaycay, emerged from the secondary-level test venue at 6pm.

“Pasado, Ma’am. Magkita-kita tayo sa oath-taking,” replied the two, who both had music, arts, physical education and health as their majors.

Mariano said she had been teaching in Macau since 2014 and took the exam just to secure a license in preparation for her eventual return home. In the meantime, she said would continue to work in the former Portuguese colony.

The equally optimistic Alicaycay, from Cagayan, said she would just finish her current two-year contract as a helper in Hong Kong then go home if she passed the exams.
—Vir B. Lumicao

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