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Congen assures migrants their concerns will reach Manila

17 December 2019

By The SUN

CG Raly shows he's a friend of migrants when he got out of the Consulate to personally accept their petition

Consul General Raly Tejada has told various Filipino migrant groups in Hong Kong that the Consulate will relay to the government in Manila all their concerns and complaints.

Congen Tejada gave this assurance as he went out of the Consulate building to personally met and spoke with about 200 migrant leaders who gathered at a rally outside the Consulate in Admiralty on Dec 15 held to oppose the new mandatory fees being collected from OFWs by the government.
These are the forced SSS membership of up to Php2,400 a month, PhilHealth contribution of Php3,600 per year, and insurance of about Php7,300 per two-year contract.

“Naintindihan ko po ang inyong mga hinaing, nag-uusap naman kami ni Dolo (tungkol sa) lahat ng inyong hinaing, lahat ng inyong mga kahilingan,” Tejada said, urging each side to keep communication lines open.

“Lagi po tayong mag-uusap, lagi tayong mag-i-engage with each other, hindi tayo kailangang mag-aaway dahil pareho naman tayo ng gusto para sa lahat, ang magkaroon ng mapayapa, mabuting kalagayan,” Tejada said.
The consul general received from the migrant workers a petition signed by more than 3,000 OFWs calling for the scrapping of the new or increased fees.

United Filipinos in Hong Kong chair Dolores Balladares, one of the leaders of the coalition called Rise Against Government Exaction, or Rage, said the workers should be having Christmas parties but were at the rally to protest the excessive exactions.

Balladares said that altogether, the mandatory fees and contributions eat up more than Php4,000 of the OFW’s monthly income so the workers must oppose them. If not, the Duterte government could impose more of them.    
Protesters aren't happy with the government's Christmas 'gift' to them

The signature campaign was launched in October by Rage and brought together migrant groups concerned about the various fees and taxes imposed by the Duterte government.

Congen Tejada said he cared for all Filipinos here, big or small, and urged the migrant workers to stay safe and vigilant for all that is happening in Hong Kong these days.
Tejada said some people in Manila are suggesting a recall of all Filipino workers in Hong Kong but he explained that the workers are safe and that they have good work here.

“Noong nakausap ko si Chief Executive Carrie Lam, sinabi ko sa kanya na hindi pababayaan ng mga Pilipino ang Hong Kong, tayo ay patuloy na magtatrabaho rito lalo na ngayong panahon ng kanilang pangangailangan,” Tejada said.

Other speakers represented coalition members such as Global Alliance, Philippine Alliance, Filipino Migrant Workers Union, United Pangasinan Hong Kong, Cordillera Alliance, Abra Tinguian Ilocano Society, Association of Concerned Filipinos in Hong Kong, Unifil and Bayan Hong Kong & Macau chapter.

Fiery speaker Josie Pingkihan of Cordillera Alliance gained cheers when she said those behind the continuous “kotong” on OFWs should be removed from their posts, and called for the abolition of all the mandatory fees and contributions.

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