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Non-FDH Filipinos left out of vaccination recognition deal

27 August 2021

By Daisy CL Mandap 

Non-FDH residents, students, dependants who were vaccinated in the Phl still can't enter HK 

Filipino residents and other non-migrant workers who received their vaccinations in the Philippines are clamoring for help, after being told that the deal announced yesterday allowing the entry of foreign domestic helpers into Hong Kong does not include them.

Consul General Raly Tejada immediately sought to allay their concerns, saying they were brought directly to the Hong Kong government earlier today, Aug 27.

Kinausap po natin kanina lang si Chief Executive Carrie Lam para naman sa mga residente at workers na may visa. Nakinig naman po. So tingnan natin,” he said in reply to an online query.

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(We spoke earlier today with Chief Executive Carrie Lam on behalf of our residents and workers with visa. She listened to us, so let’s see).

Many residents became anxious after realizing that only FDHs were included in the plan to allow those who got vaccinated in the Philippines and have the “yellow card” from the Bureau of Quarantine to prove it, to start entering Hong Kong from Monday.

No mention was made in yesterday’s announcement of the deal by either the Hong Kong government or the Philippine Consulate about how the recognition of the yellow card could benefit other visa-holders traveling from the Philippines.

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Earlier, Consul Paul Saret said in an interview with The SUN that only FDHs were covered in their talks with the Hong Kong government on vaccine recognition.

ConGen Tejada confirmed this when he said in an online message: “Our understanding is that the current system only applies to FDHs arriving from the Philippines.”

CG Tejada has relayed the residents' concerns directly to CE Lam

The revelation caused an uproar among non-migrant workers who have been stuck in the Philippines even before Hong Kong imposed a flight ban on Apr 20 this year.

Pindutin para sa detalye

Among them is Pearl Castro, who told The SUN she and a colleague have been stranded for nine months in the Philippines, after they decided to take a break when they lost their jobs in Hong Kong in February.

Castro said she was desperate to fly back to Hong Kong as she wanted to be with her 20-year-old daughter again, and take up a job she was assured of on her return.

She wrote an emotional appeal to the Consulate, asking for help in being allowed to come back to Hong Kong.

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Gusto ko lang po malaman bakit hindi nakasama ang mga residente ng Hong Kong na makabalik diyan, Pilipino pa rin po kami. Siyam na buwan na po kaming nandito sa Pilipinas, gusto ko na pong magtrabaho sa Hong Kong dahil kawawa at naghihirap na po kami dito sa bansa,” she said in an email.

(I just want to know why Hong Kong residents are not being allowed to return, we are also Filipinos. We have been stuck here in the Philippines for nine months, I just want to go back to work in Hong Kong because we are experiencing hardship here in our country).

Another query came from Leleen Tan, who said she holds a dependant visa, and was wondering if her yellow card fell into the category of “vaccination records of a county with a bilateral recognition with Hong Kong” as provided in the government website.


While this category was used to recognize the vaccination records of FDHs, it does not appear to have been extended to yellow cards held by residents, dependants, students and other employment visa holders.

This poses a dilemma, too, for Peggy Lua, whose son is supposed to be traveling soon to Hong Kong on student visa.

On top of worrying about the long queue for the yellow card and the difficulty of booking a quarantine hotel for her son, Lua now has to contend with the lack of a clear direction on how vaccinated non-FDHs can enter Hong Kong.

The yellow card continues to elude many HK-bound Filipinos

Vaccine recognition is also a problem with other categories of Filipinos who are anxious to fly to Hong Kong soon.

They include FDHs who got vaccinated in countries they used to work in, like Bahrain and United Arab Emirates, and are unable to take up their jobs in Hong Kong because they cannot get the BOQ certificate.

Another group is made up of those who received their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine in an overseas country, and the second in the Philippines.

One of them said she was told at the BOQ that she could not be given a yellow card, but just a certification paper because she did not get both jabs in the Philippines.

The problems appear endless, and could only be resolved with a comprehensive and more compassionate agreement on finally allowing all with the right to live and work in Hong Kong, to return immediately.

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