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New Philippine labor attaché to HK set to take up post tomorrow

22 February 2020

By The SUN

Labatt Dizon in Greece, his last overseas post before HK (photo from his Facebook account)

A senior official of the Department of Labor and Employment is set to take up the post of Philippine labor attaché to Hong Kong tomorrow, Feb. 23.

Lawyer Melchor B. Dizon, who previously served as labor attaché in Greece, Libya and Taiwan, will make a courtesy call on Consul General Raly Tejada in the morning, before assuming his  post as head of the Philippine Overseas Labor Office.

Dizon arrived in Hong Kong from Manila Friday night. He hails from San Pablo, Laguna, and obtained his law degree from Arellano University. 

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He worked at the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) before serving as labor attache.

He was posted to Tripoli during the 2014 evacuation of Filipino nationals from Libya amid an outbreak of civil unrest. The year before, he brokered a deal that allowed Filipino nationals in Taiwan to get paid annual vacation. His last overseas posting was in Athens, Greece.

He takes over the position left vacant by the recall to Manila in July last year of popular labor attaché Jalilo dela Torre, who opted for retirement instead of taking up the offer to move to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

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Dela Torre was twice recalled by Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III for allegedly playing favorites with employment agencies, but Filipino community leaders staged widely publicized protests against the order.

In the latest case, Bello based his recall on a supposedly unauthorized deal brokered by Dela Torre to upgrade Polo’s 13-year-old online contract processing system.
Assistant Labor Attache Antonio Villafuerte was appointed officer-in-charge at Polo pending the appointment of a new head.

Dizon takes over as top labor official in Hong Kong amid a worsening outbreak of the novel coronavirus, also known as Covid-19, which has left many OFWs vulnerable to discrimination and possible abuse, including being prevented from taking their weekly day-off.

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