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Over 2k more Filipino DHs lose jobs in May

02 June 2020

By Vir B. Lumicao

Nearly 7,000 Filipino DHs have been displaced since Covid-19 struck HK in February

A total of 2,106 Filipino helpers lost their jobs in Hong Kong last month, according to the latest Immigration Department data, in line with a general drop in foreign domestic helper population.

The latest job losses brought the total Filipino DH population down to 212,855, or a drop of 6,873 since February, when the coronavirus contagion hit the city.
Indonesian domestic helpers, the second-biggest FDH group in Hong Kong, saw their ranks in May shrink by 2,370 month-on-month, bringing their total population down to 165,377.

Despite the significant decrease in the number of FDHs last month, the figures still did not reflect the actual situation, as many helpers fired by employers or who broke their contracts could stay up to a month or longer, in line with an Immigration directive meant to ease the effects of travel restrictions in many countries.
The job losses in Hong Kong comes as the Philippines’ Department of Labor and Employment reported that nearly 100,000 OFWs displaced during the coronavirus crisis are stranded in various sites abroad.

The Dole command center in Manila recorded a total of 98,615 stranded workers as of May 29, based on reports from 40 Philippine labor posts abroad, including Hong Kong.
Dole said the OFWs are either distressed workers seeking to be repatriated or those whose work contracts have expired but cannot return to the Philippines due to the absence of commercial flights.

Of the total stranded OFWs, Dole said 3,082 are in Asian countries while 83,483 are in the Middle East and 12,050 are in Europe and America.
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Officers of the Overseas Workers welfare Administration had said even before the coronavirus pandemic hit Hong Kong in late January that there was already an average of two terminations per day.

There could be more during the contagion crisis, according to the Mission for Migrant Workers, which based its estimate in April from an average of 2-3 terminations per day reported to them by walk-in clients seeking assistance.

The rate of terminations has visibly accelerated as more employers suffer business losses or unemployment as many companies reel from the economic impact of the Covid-19 contagion.

“The OFWs are either affected by lockdowns in their respective host countries — those distressed seeking to be repatriated or those whose work contracts have expired but cannot return to the Philippines due to the absence of commercial flights,” the Dole said in a statement.

Foreign domestic helper population in Hong Kong, 2020

As of end of Month/Year
Philippines
Indonesia
India
Other nationalities
Total -- all nationalities
Jan-20
219,728
170,898
4,838
4,657
400,121
Feb-20
217,654
171,291
4,857
4,619
398,421
Mar-20
218,002
170,318
4,818
4,594
397,732
Apr-20
215,061
167,747
4,723
4,493
392,024
May-20
212,855
165,377
4,664
4,446
387,342
Source: Immigration Department


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