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OFW removed by HK after contracting Covid-19 finds new employer

08 February 2021

By Vir B. Lumicao 

E.G.S. in quarantine - she hopes everything will go smoothly this time

A Filipina domestic helper who was put on a flight back to Manila by Immigration officers in late September after she tested positive for coronavirus on arrival in Hong Kong, is back.

The 35-year-old woman, E.G.S. happily informed The SUN about her return, and said she was spending her 21-day quarantine in a hotel in Kowloon following her arrival on Jan 29.

Pindutin para sa detalye!

E.G.S. admitted to being a bit nervous when she passed through Immigration, and was relieved when she got through without a hitch.

Ang laking ginhawa at worth it ang lahat ng pagod nang makalusot ako sa Immigration para kunin ang aking mga bagahe,” she said.

Call now!

(It was such a relief, and was worth all the trouble after I got through Immigration to collect my luggage).

After her swab test, she and four other Filipinas were taken away from the airport in a van, and taken to their hotels.

E.G.S. said her employment agency in Manila that deployed her unsuccessfully last year called her to say it had received a job order for her as soon as she arrived back in Bacolod City after her sad ordeal in Hong Kong.


It was Placewell International Services in Ermita that sent her and 12 other new hires to Hong Kong on Sept 9 last year after receiving their certificates of negative test results from the Lung Center of the Philippines before their flight.

The group members were swab-tested at the Hong Kong International Airport upon arrival and 10 of them, including E.G.S., were found infected within days - five at the airport, three the next day, and two days later.

Tunghayan ang isa na namang kwentong Dream Love

They were sent to various hospitals across Hong Kong for isolation and treatment, with E.G.S. and another fellow recruit, being taken to Princess Margaret Hospital in Kwai Chung.

The first to be removed from Hong Kong after her discharge from Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital was Ermelyn Deno on Sept 19. E.G.S. was sent back home four days later after 13 days of quarantine.


Immigration officers said at the time that the workers were removed and sent back to Manila because their employers allegedly backed out on hearing that they had tested positive for Covid-19.

E.G.S. said she paid Placewell Php45,000 for that botched deployment, so, when she returned to Manila, she tried to claim a refund. But instead of returning her money, the agency told her it would find her another employer at no cost to her.


“Hindi na ako siningil kasi yun ang usapan namin. Hindi naman din nila ibinalik yung pera na ibinayad namin kahit hindi pa kami nakapagsimulang mag-work,” she said.

(They didn’t charge me because that was what we had agreed on, as they didn’t reimburse the money we paid them even if we never even got to start working.)

She said she was overjoyed when the new employer hired her because she was worried about repaying the money for her placement that she borrowed from a lending company. She said she signed up for a loan of Php50,000 but actually got only Php44,000, which she was supposed to pay in six monthly installments totaling PhP68,168.

The mother of two boys, aged 12 and one year and five months, said despite the new job secured for her as soon as she arrived in Bacolod, she had to wait three months for her documents and work visa.

During that time, she had no income but sold frozen goods bought with funds collected from generous overseas Filipino workers by Marites Palma and her group Social Justice for Migrant Workers.

But since their house was far from commercial areas, E.G.S. said she barely made money from her small business, and her family ended up eating some of the food that she was selling.

When her visa finally arrived, E.G.S. said she was penniless and could not travel to Manila because she couldn’t afford a plane ticket. Her agency in Hong Kong, Goldenfull, bought the ticket so she could fly to Manila in preparation for her return to Hong Kong.

Now halfway into her quarantine, E.G.S. fights boredom by watching cooking classes on TV, doing zumba dancing or calling her quarantined friends.

E.G.S. is grateful for the support she continues to get from fellow OFWs in Hong Kong

Last Sunday, Palma delivered fruits and bread to her hotel; today another friend brought her noodles, biscuits, French bread and water, as well as medicine for her foot blisters.

She will have her second swab test tomorrow, Feb 9, and a third on her 19th day in quarantine. She is keeping her fingers crossed that nothing untoward will happen to her again.

For now, her only worry is that her employment visa will expire on the day she ends her quarantine on Feb. 19. She hopes her agency will help her with this so she could start serving her new employer.

“Sana para na talaga sa akin ang amo ko na ito sir... nang makapagbayad na sa mga utang. Ayyyy! Buhay sa Pinas kahirap,” she sighed. (I hope this employer is really meant for me sir…so I’d be able to repay my debts. Ah! How tough life in ’Pinas is.)

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