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Congen Tejada sees off 80 stranded OFWs bound for Mla at HK Airport

06 June 2020

By Daisy CL Mandap

A big delegation from the Consulate led by Congen Tejada saw off the OFWs  at HK Airport

A total of 80 Filipino domestic workers who were stuck in Hong Kong because of flight cancellations managed to get on a Cathay Pacific plane bound for Manila early today, Jun 6, after getting help from the Consulate.

Consul General Raly Tejada personally bid goodbye to them at the airport, along with some of his staff and officers from the Philippine Overseas Labor Office.


The Consulate contingent gave free food to the departing overseas Filipino workers, and stayed on until all had boarded their CX 907 flight which departed at 7:20am.

ConGen Tejada said in response to an inquiry via messenger that the passengers could not leave earlier because of repeated flight cancellations by Cathay and Hong Kong Airlines.


Both airlines never stopped flying daily to Manila, except for the days when the Philippine government halted inbound flights in order to decongest quarantine facilities where around 30,000 newly returned OFWs were kept for up to two months.

HK Airport was buzzing as the OFWs checked in for their 7:20am flight

Last week, 24,000 of those who tested negative for the coronavirus were finally allowed to leave the facilities and proceed to their respective hometowns where they put under another 14-day quarantine.

The air fare for the OFWs who flew home today was reportedly paid for by their respective employers, in line with Hong Kong’s labour law.


The flight was a mix of passengers with previously cancelled tickets, those with future flights that had been rebooked, and those with regular bookings for today. The Consulate merely consolidated their flights so they could leave as a group.
 
Congen Tejada (with glasses) held  the Philippine flag aloft in a final goodbye to the OFWs 

According to Consul Paul Saret, head of the Consulate’s assistance to nationals section, a second batch of OFWs will leave on Jun 10 on the same flight, CX 907.

Immigration figures show nearly 7,000 Filipino domestic workers have lost their jobs since February, when the first coronavirus cases were reported in Hong Kong.


Their numbers declined the most between March and April, when more than 3,000 lost their jobs.

However, recruitment agencies say up to 15,000 Hong Kong-bound workers are just waiting for the travel restrictions to ease further in the Philippines before flying out.


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