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CG raises migrant workers concerns with HK’s CE

07 December 2019

By Daisy CL Mandap

Congen Raly meets CE Carrie

Long-standing issues like the 14-day visa restriction on dismissed workers and forced live-in arrangement for foreign domestic helpers, as well as new ones, like the call to set up a separate job category for caregivers, were among the matters raised by Consul General Raly Tejada when he paid a courtesy call on Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam on Thursday, Dec. 5.

Congen Tejada said he also assured the Chief Executive of the Filipinos’ continuing support for Hong Kong, as it continues to be rocked by anti-government protests.

Details of their scheduled meeting were revealed by Congen Tejada, in line with his promise to the Filipino community in Hong Kong of a transparent and pro-active leadership.
He said he told the Chief Executive that he needed to bring up the concerns as they were important to Filipinos in Hong Kong. In response, Mrs Lam reportedly promised to look into the issues he raised but gave no promises.

During the meeting that lasted between 45 to 50 minutes, Congen Tejada brought up other issues concerning the welfare and protection of the 238,000 Filipino domestic workers in Hong Kong.

These include the suitability of accommodations provided to domestic workers, their
long working hours, their being taken advantage of by illegal money lenders, and their request for the creation of a caregiver class as a new category of workers.
He also mentioned that 3,000 Filipino workers have availed of the free anti-measles vaccine provided by the Hong Kong Department of Health in cooperation with the Consulate.

On the business front, he informed Mrs Lam that a Philippine Trade and Investment Center will soon be set up in Hong Kong after Beijing recently granted its approval; and that President Rodrigo Duterte is about to ratify the ASEAN- HK Free Trade Agreement.
Finally, Congen Tejada said he conveyed the Filipino peoples’ collective hope for peace and prosperity to return soon to Hong Kong.

“I also emphasized that the fortunes of all Filipinos living and working in the territory is tied to its continued stability and economic growth. I informed her that while our people are worried they remain confident that HK will overcome current challenges,” he said.

“ I added that Filipinos love HK and that living and working in HK is something that they deeply cherish and assured her that Filipinos will not abandon HK in its time of need.”

In turn, Mrs Lam reportedly asked him to extend her thanks to the Philippines, especially to the Filipino workers who have contributed greatly to Hong Kong’s economic prosperity.

It was the first meeting between the two officials since Congen Tejada formally assumed his post last month.
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