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Polo opens new Admiralty office to workers' great relief

13 September 2020

By Vir B. Lumicao

Migrant workers are happy Polo and PCG are now under one roof

No more long walks going to two key Philippine government offices in Hong Kong.

This was how Filipino workers and officers of the Philippine Overseas Labor Office welcomed with relief the opening of Polo’s new premises today, Sept 13, on the 29th floor of United Centre in Admiralty.

Labor Attaché Melchor Dizon said the new Polo address is more convenient and easily accessible than its just vacated premises at YF Life Tower on Lockhart Road in Wanchai.

All offices of the Polo/Overseas Workers Welfare Administration are on one floor. More importantly, the office is in the same building as the Philippine Consulate General, which occupies the entire 14th floor.

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He said workers with business to transact in both offices will no longer have to walk some distance from Polo’s previous office in Wanchai to the PCG in Admiralty.

Aside from the convenience of being near the public transport hub, the workers have more space to line up in United Centre, especially during peak seasons or inclement weather.

For orderly queuing, two volunteers manning a passage to the cordoned off second floor lift lobby at United Centre directed those visiting POLO or PCG where to go.

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Volunteers said worker traffic was heavy in the morning with more people going to POLO to process contracts or approach the OWWA for help.

Assistant Labor Attache Tony Villafuerte said he was at the lobby before 8am helping the volunteers direct the crowd of workers going up, as Consul General Raly Tejada reportedly wants an orderly queuing so as not to upset the building management.

The only glitch on opening day was the lack of seats in the public area

Up on the 29th floor, Polo’s doors open directly to the spacious public hall where workers can transact at six counter windows. The hall is evidently bigger than the Consulate’s public hall and is a wide bare area without any seats.

Some of the 60 workers at the queue before 1pm said they were happy with Polo’s move.

Pindutin para sa detalye

“Mas mainam na rito. Hindi na kami maglalakad nang malayo kapag may lalakarin din kami sa kabila,” said one woman who said she was lining up for the OWWA window. But she said there should be seats for those waiting for their turn at the windows.

ALA Angelica Sunga said the blue folding chairs from the previous site are still in the storeroom as POLO officials are still drawing up the layout plan for the hall. “We still have to finalize the layout plan,” she said.

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The executive offices are in a separate, northern wing of the premises with four equally large rooms for the two assistant labor attachés and two OWWA welfare officers on the right side of a hall. A conference room and four POLO cubicles are on the left side.

Labatt Dizon's new office is twice as big as the old one


At the northern end of the hall is Labatt Dizon’s room. It is more than twice as big as his former room at YF Life Tower with a spacious sitting area for visitors.      

       

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