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OWWA confirms suicide of Filipina DH

04 November 2019

By Daisy CL Mandap

Police have confirmed the case as suicide
The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration has confirmed reports about the suicide of a 37-year-old Filipina domestic worker in Mong Kok on Saturday, Nov. 2.

Welfare Officer Virsie Tamayao says she has been in touch with the employment agency that deployed the victim, Ellen M.T., to Hong Kong less than two years ago.

The agency representative and Ellen’s employer are expected to go to OWWA tomorrow, Nov. 5, to talk about repatriation.

“We will know more details about the case then,” said Tamayao, who said she had heard of different stories about how Ellen had died.

OWWA records show that Ellen, who was from Lagro in Novaliches, Quezon City, first came to Hong Kong to work in 2012. However, she apparently went back home for awhile and returned to Hong Kong more than a year ago to work for her current employer.

“Since she was re-deployed less than two years ago, she is still covered by mandatory insurance,” said Tamayao.

Tamayao says the victim's family
is entitled to death benefits from
OWWA and mandatory insurance
That means, her family stands to receive USD$10,000 in death benefit from her Philippines-based insurer, apart from the Php120,000 death and burial benefits from OWWA. Both insurers allow payouts even in suicide cases.

A spokeswoman for HK Police said Ellen’s death was classified as suicide, and that there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding her death.

She reportedly hanged herself with a towel in the flat of her employer’s house at 11 Hoi Fai Road in Mong Kok at 10:33 am.

Police who responded to a call for help from a resident of the flat took her down and sent her to Kwong Wah Hospital in an unconscious state. She was certified dead at the hospital.

No suicide note was found at the scene. A post-mortem examination will be carried out to determine the exact cause of death.

Anyone who feels depressed or burdened by a problem may call The Samaritans' 24-hour hotline, 2896 0000 to get free counseling. Filipinos, especially domestic workers, may also call the Social Welfare Attache's office at the Consulate, 2823 8507 where there are trained counselors who can speak to them.

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