Responsive Ad Slot




Buhay Pinay



Philippine News

Join us at Facebook!

DOLE says vaccinated Filipino DHs may enter HK from Aug 30

22 August 2021

 By Daisy CL Mandap 

The vaccination certificate from BoQ will pave the way for Filipino workers to enter HK

The news that Hong Kong will start accepting Filipino domestic helpers vaccinated in the Philippines from Aug 30 has been welcomed by stakeholders, though many are skeptical most of the stranded workers will be able to get in so quickly.

That’s because all of those flying in from Manila will only be able to board their flights if they have their vaccination certificates issued by the Bureau of Quarantine, a process that involves a long waiting period.


A check with the BoQ website shows the earliest available slot for applying for an international Covid-19 certificate at the head office in Manila is on Nov. 23. At the Shoemart North extension office in Quezon City, the next open slot is on Sept. 29.

Reports say the only other BoQ office that accepts applications for the yellow vaccine certificate as of now is in Cebu City.

Call us!

According to a statement released by the Department of Labour and Employment Saturday afternoon, about 3,000 Filipino workers who already have employment visas are awaiting deployment to Hong Kong.

DoLE says 3,000 Filipino workers are waiting for deployment to HK

Most of them have been unable to leave since Apr 20, when Hong Kong designated the Philippines among “high-risk places” for Covid-19, and barred the entry of all passenger flights from there.


The ban was lifted starting Aug 9, but travelers from the Philippines, Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Nepal and several other places not included in the World Health Organization’s list of countries with a so-called stringent regulatory authority were still not allowed to come in.

It took weeks of negotiation with the consulates of the affected countries before Hong Kong began easing up on the requirement. As of last week, HK said it would accept vaccination records issued by governments with which it has bilateral agreements on vaccination recognition.


Consul General Raly Tejada affirmed the progress made in talks with Hong Kong officials on the issue of vaccination recognition.

In reply to a query to verify the DoLE statement, ConGen Tejada said Aug 30 "is the target date for those who received the vaccine in the Philippines so long as they can present our BOQ-issued yellow card." 

He did not confirm if the stranded workers could actually start coming in starting on Monday next week.

But he did say the negotiations with Hong Kong yielded good results, and gave credit to the BOQ, Department of Foreign Affairs as well as DOLE and its affiliate agencies, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration and Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, for securing the agreement. 

Hong Kong regulations provide that on top of presenting a recognized vaccination certificate, people flying in from high-risk countries like the Philippines must quarantine for 21 days in a designated hotel.

For FDHs, they must book their quarantine with just one or two hotels designated by the Hong Kong Labour Department to be able to get on board a flight. The reason for the segregation has not been made clear.

FDH groups in Hong Kong have bristled at the move, calling it discriminatory, an attitude shared by some employment agency operators.

Thomas Chan, head of the Hong Kong Union of Employment Agencies, said “first, there’s no scientific evidence to support (the view) that workers are more contagious than HK residents, and second, it might lead to the hotels being labeled as workers’ quarantine hotels (which would reinforce the stigma on the workers).”

While his group welcomes the news that Hong Kong will finally open its doors to FDHs, Chan said it is not likely there will be deluge of workers arriving here, given the limited number of hotel rooms that will be allocated to them.

“If the door will really open on Aug 30, I don’t think too many can come in because at the moment, we still have no idea which hotel/s (will be used) and how many rooms will be available,” he said.

Chan says it's not likely FDHs would start flooding into HK soon

Another big problem Chan sees is the long queue for those applying for the BoQ-issued vaccination certificates. He said one of his applicants told him the earliest appointment slot she could get is in November.

This was confirmed by several worker-applicants desperate to get to Hong Kong. One said the booking slots are always full, and wanted to confirm if it was true that those who already have scheduled flights could just walk in to secure the coveted card.

Chan also said he had been informed that the workers can only get the so-called yellow cards in Manila, which would entail them having to spend more money just to secure the document.

Earlier reports from Manila said that apart from the two offices of BoQ in the national capital, the only other place where the yellow card is issued is in Cebu.

Chan said he hopes the Philippine government can remedy this problem soon, to lessen the burden on Filipino workers who have been stuck in the country for months, in hopes of finally getting the all-clear to fly to Hong Kong.


Don't Miss