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Four more Filipina domestic workers sacked amid Covid-19 scare

21 February 2020

By Vir B. Lumicao

An OFW sacked earlier amid fears of the Covid-19 spread

A Filipina helper who insisted on going out to pick up her new passport at the Consulate so she could renew her work visa had been dismissed by her employer who was reportedly paranoid over the Covid-19 contagion in Hong Kong.

Her case was one of four virus-related terminations of Filipino workers in Hong Kong reported to the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration on Feb. 20.

The other dismissal involved a maid whose employer was relocating to Australia and had to terminate the services of the Filipina, Welfare Officer Marivic C. Clarin said.

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Two related sackings were also reported, both involving Filipina domestic workers who lost their jobs a day after Tuesday's lifting of the travel ban to Hong Kong and Macau. Clarin said their employers lost their patience waiting for the stranded helpers to return/

But there could be others which were not reported to OWWA, as can be seen from several online postings by the dismissed OFWs themselves.

OWWA's Clarin says two Filipinas got sacked after they got stuck because of the travel ban 

Clarin said the worker over the passport issue had insisted on going to the PCG and on to the Immigration to pick up her new passport and apply for a new work visa.

But the employer reportedly said that if the maid insisted on leaving, she would have to go for good. They eventually agreed on an early release of the maid, with the employer to pay all her financial obligations to the Filipina.

The other worker was dismissed by her employer who was relocating her family to Australia due to the fear that the novel coronavirus, or Covid-19, was spreading rapidly among Hong Kong people.
As at noon Thursday, public hospitals had reported to the Department of Health that they admitted 19 patients, comprising 4 male and 15 female aged 6 to 89, in the past 24 hours who met the reporting criteria for Covid-19.

There are now 69 confirmed cases in Hong Kong and 2 deaths. Five patients been discharged upon recovery. 

But there are also happy stories for some stranded Filipino workers. Clarin said four local employers had called to ask when their helpers could return to Hong Kong after the travel ban from the Philippines was lifted on Feb. 18.

Clarin said that as soon as the employers confirmed that the lifting of the ban was already in effect, they  immediately booked flights for their stranded workers.

The Philippine government partially lifted the travel ban it imposed on Feb 2 to allow tens of thousands of Filipinos to return to their homes and workplaces. But the travel restrictions on their arrival in the Philippines remain in place, including a 14-day self-quarantine.

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