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1,500 more Filipino migrant workers lost job in June

03 July 2020

By Vir B. Lumicao

The FDH population continues to drop despite the resumption of deployment from the Philippines   

The Filipino domestic helper population in Hong Kong has dropped by nearly 1,500 last month, despite the arrival of a bigger number of workers who arrived from the Philippines in the same period.

According to Labour Secretary Law Chi-kwong on Saturday, June 27, the number of Filipino DHs who entered in the past month was around 1,700, meaning the job losses should have been offset, but were not.

The latest Immigration statistics show the Filipino FDH population in June was 211,426, down by 1,490 from the May figure. The drop was worse in April, when 2,941 FDH jobs were lost as Hong Kong’s economy continued to take a beating amid the pandemic.
Pindutin para sa detalye
Since February, the cumulative job losses for Filipino migrant workers in Hong Kong has reached 8,309. There is no immediate relief in sight as Law said the government prefers to keep the number steady, in line with its policy of restricting people's movements into the city. 

The data from Immigration show a similar drop in the Indonesian domestic helper population, with 849 losing their jobs in June.

However, the statistics do not show the actual number of Filipino helpers who are still in Hong Kong, as hundreds appear to have taken advantage of Immigration’s decision to extend their visas because of pandemic-related travel restrictions in the Philippines.
Those already on visitor visa are terminated workers who have difficulty returning to their hometowns in the Philippines because of canceled flights or the unpredictable testing and quarantine system that are in place in the country.

Immigration has eased the “two-week rule” during the crisis to help terminated workers find new employers. However, they are still not allowed to take up their new jobs unless they have gone on home leave, or “exited” from Hong Kong.

The Immigration figures also do not include the thousands who were either stranded or unable to complete the processing of their exit visas in the Philippines, and were eventually fired by their employers who couldn’t wait for them any longer.
In early June, the Department of Labor and Employment admitted the pandemic and community lockdown to keep it in check had left 7.3 million Filipinos jobless, resulting in the country’s highest unemployment rate of 17.7%.

Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III said the lockdown during the community quarantine from March to May had also caused a huge 55.6% drop in the labor force participation rate, the lowest in the country’s labor market history.

The figure could still rise dramatically, as tens of thousands more overseas Filipino workers have lost their jobs abroad, but are still unable to return home due to lockdowns and travel restrictions in their place of work.

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
Jun-20
211,426
164,528

Inc India    9,052
385,006
Source: Immigration Department




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