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CG says, ‘we’re working very hard’ to get Filipino workers back in HK

08 August 2021

By Daisy CL Mandap 

Congen says HK is open to accepting the yellow cards
as proof of vaccination in Phl 

Consul General Raly Tejada has clarified that talks are still ongoing with Hong Kong officials on how vaccination records issued in the Philippines could be verified to allow residents and contract workers to start coming here.

But the good news is, Hong Kong authorities are said to be open to accepting the yellow-colored international vaccination certificate being issued in the Philippines as specified by the World Health Organization.


“Hong Kong authorities seem receptive to the WHO International Certificate of Vaccination (yellow card) being issued by our Bureau of Quarantine so long as the same contains important information such as the holder’s vaccination record and other important details such as passport information,” said Congen Tejada.

Still, he said Hong Kong has yet to give the go-ahead for using the yellow card or any other system for verifying vaccination records issued in the Philippines.

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“We are still working out a mechanism to ensure that vaccination records issued in the Philippines can be certified by a designated authority. It goes without saying that said certification must be verifiable and easily validated by concerned authorities,” he said.

He assured the Consulate has been doing its best to get the issue sorted out.


“We are working very hard to arrive at a mutually acceptable arrangement so that we can finally have our workers fly back to HK,” said Congen.

CG says the Consulate is working hard to get Filipino workers back in HK

His clarification comes amid conflicting and often confusing reports on whether Filipino residents and contract workers hoping to fly to Hong Kong can do so starting Monday as long as they are vaccinated.


Congen Tejada told The SUN that there is no question that those who were fully vaccinated in Hong Kong can do so when the ban on passenger travel from high-risk countries is partially lifted tomorrow.

“There is no question that they can come back to HK provided they have had an RT-PCR Test and will undergo quarantine upon arrival as mandated by HK’s authorities,” said Tejada.


The sticking point is with those whose vaccinations were administered in the Philippines.

While Hong Kong has announced that residents from places re-classified “high risk” countries like the Philippines can enter starting Aug 9, they could only do so if (1) they are fully vaccinated and (2) and hold a valid vaccination record.


The new guidelines added that for the vaccination record to be recognized as valid, it should have been issued in Hong Kong, Mainland or Macau, or any country where its national regulatory authority is designated by the WHO as a “stringent regulatory authority.”

Using this as a guideline, the only high-risk countries that qualify are the United Kingdom and Ireland. The rest of the places in this category, comprising the Philippines, Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Nepal, South Africa and Brazil, do not.

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Thomas Chan, head of an employment agency union, says Hong Kong’s strict requirement for validating vaccination records does not help ease the acute shortage of foreign domestic workers here, as most of them come from either the Philippines or Indonesia.

“I have been telling the media that this new arrangement doesn’t help to improve the market situation, workers are still stranded there, and employers still find it difficult to hire workers,” Chan said.

He has said in previous interviews that between two to three thousand FDWs are stranded in the Philippines and Indonesia as a result of Hong Kong’s decision to suspend passenger flights from the two countries.

The flight ban in the Philippines has been in effect since Apr 20, while that for Indonesia took effect on Jun 25.

Chan says there are reports 'fixers' are selling the yellow cards to desperate FDWs 

Chan also expressed concern that “fixers” in the Philippines are taking advantage of the confusion brought about by Hong Kong’s recent pronouncements.

He cited reports coming from the Philippines that Hong Kong-bound workers are being told by some groups to get the international certificate of vaccination as soon as possible, but each must pay a total of Php370 for it.

Chan asked whether the vaccination certificates are really being sold, and who might be behind this new ploy to get workers desperate to fly to Hong Kong to pay up some more.

“It seems fixers are taking advantage (of the situation) to squeeze workers for money,” he said.


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