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DHs home alone as protest jitters force their Chinese employers out

19 November 2019

A number of domestic helpers are being left in Hong Kong by employers who are mainlanders.

By Vir B. Lumicao 

Nervous mainland employers are reportedly leaving their Filipina maids behind as they hastily move to safety while Hong Kong’s political crisis gets worse. 

Hong Kong employers who are anxious about their businesses or jobs, meanwhile, have reportedly started dismissing their domestic workers.

At least one of two Filipina helpers terminated at dusk on Wednesday, Nov 13, was dismissed by her employer purportedly due his shinking business income, according to a post on the Facebook page of the online support group, Domestic Workers Corner.

The other maid said she was driven out of the employer’s flat outright.

Many posts in the same Facebook account were from Filipinas who reported being left to fend for themselves by their employers who decided to cool their heels on the mainland.

Their maids greeted the development with both apprehension and relief, while others whose employers were still packing, wished they’d go soon. 

One of them, Jaja, revealed her mainland employers’ mad rush to the border. 

“Hi mga madam, sino kagaya ko na iniwanan ng employer ngayon on the spot kasi pupunta na sila sa China dahil sa gulo? Babalik naman daw sila pero hindi sure kung kelan. Meron namang iniwan na food allowance,” Jaja said.

Commenter Dimple Umipig told her not to worry if the employer had given her salary and left her with enough provisions. 

A certain Fuchi Belarde also said she was left alone by her employers while another helper said hers were preparing to leave for the mainland this Thursday.

Another, Criselda S. revealed that her employers also left her alone with $500 allowance for her food and promised to return on Sunday, but she was doubtful they would.

Sharon D. said her employers left her last Friday and said they would return last Sunday night, but had not done so.

Others wrote of how their employers had wanted to bring them along but forgot to renew their visa.

One maid said she and her employers had to delay their trip to China for a day because her visa had expired. 

Another, Sheilah V., said she was alone at home because everyone else in her employers’ household had gone to China.

“May visa na ako pero di ko pa nakuha, kasi nga magulo. Stay at home daw ako, next week punta din ako dun,” she said. 

The employers’ exodus or decision to terminate their helpers to cut on costs may just be the tip of an iceberg, as many people in Hong Kong become jittery over the escalating violence in the five-month-old pro-democracy protests.

One of those sacked recently was Cristy, who used to work at Lohas Park in Tseung Kwan O. She said she had just been given a termination notice and would have to leave her employer’s house on Dec 13.

“Bigla na lang akong inaway. Tapos isinama na sa usapan na he cannot concentrate daw in his business and his income daw bumababa dahil sa gulo sa Hong Kong,” said Cristy. She said she renewed her contract just four months ago.

A few of those who commented commiserated with her on her plight, and said employers should level off with their helper by admitting that the protests have been giving them the jitters.

Another said employers are understandably stressed over the unrest in Hong Kong, but they should not take out their anxieties on their helpers. 
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