Responsive Ad Slot




Buhay Pinay



Philippine News

Join us at Facebook!

HK-bound workers despair as flight ban strands them in Manila

20 April 2021

Vir B. Lumicao 

HK estimates about 1K FDHs have been affected by the flight suspensions

Filipino domestic workers who were due to fly to Hong Kong today or in the next few days have been taken by surprise by the government’s total ban on all flights from Manila for two weeks.

The affected workers said the ban was so unfair, especially for those who came from faraway provinces and had to stay in boarding houses in Manila while waiting for their flights.

It was not known how many Hong Kong-bound domestic helpers are stranded at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport due to the ban, which was announced by the SAR government before midnight Sunday. 


However, Labour Secretary Law Chi-kwong had said in an interview earlier htat about one thousand FDHs would be affected by any flight ban.

This time, there are no OFWs stranded at Hong Kong International Airport due to the flight ban, Consul General Raly Tejada said. But he said the Consulate is trying to find ways to bring home those who were unable to fly home.

“Rest assured that we are working on other ways of bringing our stranded people home,” ConGen Tejada said in a message. “Stranded passengers are advised to visit OWWA while those embarking on non-essential travel should reconsider their plans by canceling or postponing their flights home.”


The PCG issued an advisory Monday evening informing Filipinos here about Hong Kong’s decision and urged the public to adjust their travel plans.

The PCG advisory telling travelers to adjust their flight plan in light of the ban

The Filipino community is hereby informed of the Hong Kong government’s decision to designate the Philippines as an extremely high-risk place under the Prevention and Control of Disease Regulation (Cap. 599H).

As a result, all flights from the Philippines are prohibited from landing in Hong Kong for 14 days from midnight of Apr 20, the advisory read.

Pindutin para sa detalye

 “The Consulate therefore urges the public to make the necessary adjustment to their travel plans including cancellation or postponement of non-essential travel to the Philippines at this time,” the advisory said.

In Manila, a domestic helper posted a comment on The SUN’s Facebook page about how unfair the ban was on her and others who were just waiting to fly out to Hong Kong.

“The flight ban is too unfair for us domestic helpers who are just waiting for our flight schedule this week, then we read this news. It’s so disappointing,” the worker said.

Call us!

“We had been in a lockdown here in Manila for more than a month, we were unable to submit our visa and contract at POEA due to the lockdown here, the as soon as it has been downgraded to MGCQ, it’s you in Hong Kong who suspend out flight,” she said.

The worker said OFWs should be vaccinated before they leave because they go through a lot of hardships waiting for their documents before their departure date.

“They should have made the flight ban just for a week, two week is too much as our brains would be too depressed. We almost don’t know where to get money for our budget for daily food,” she said.


She said many OFWs like her who came from neighboring provinces have no money to pay for their boarding houses.

She said during their pre-departure orientation seminar arranged by different agencies, everyone was hopeful they could leave soon because their families rely on the money they would send home, and they have to repay the loans they used to pay the agencies.

The worker, a single mother, said her greatest fear now is that her employer might back out because the woman is expecting her baby sometime next month.

Tunghayan ang isa na namang kwentong 

Another worker said she was in the same situation, as her employer is due to give birth in June. She said she applied for the FDH job as early as last year but until now she was unable to leave for Hong Kong.

The workers said even their recruitment agencies in Manila were very eager to see them fly out. One said her agency helped her buy lots of ginger to prepare herself for the pre-departure swab test, and vitamin C to boost her immune system.

Ong says her travel business would be hit hard by the flight suspension

Cora Ong, manager of Tri-D Travel, said her air ticketing business had been affected by suspension of flights from Manila since the Covid-19 crisis began. She expects zero income now because of the flight ban.

“We’re also affected but what can we do? It’s a government policy,” Ong said.

She said ticketing orders by employment agencies have softened to about 20 to 30 a month because processing has slowed.

She said most of the ticket purchases are Hong Kong-bound, meant for new hires and those who had been terminated, gone home and are coming back to join new employers.

“Very few of the workers who are already here don’t want to go home for a vacation because the hotel quarantine is a big burden that the employer certainly doesn’t like,” Ong said.

She said her cargo company, Asian Dragon, still has modest income from the door-to-door business, but, from the ticketing operation it’s minimal. “If it’s a total ban, then we’ll have zero income from ticketing,” she said.

Ong said her company’s current worry is that Hong Kong might follow Macau in implementing a 28-day quarantine. “If they make the quarantine period 28 days, then the helpers won’t be able to go home for a vacation,” she said.


Don't Miss