Responsive Ad Slot




Buhay Pinay



Philippine News

Join us at Facebook!

Filipina DH cancer patient penniless after being fired while on sickbed

09 October 2021

By Vir B. Lumicao


The Filipina was on her 11th day in hospital when she was dismissed by her employer

A 40-year-old Filipina domestic worker suffering from cervical cancer is literally out in the cold after being dismissed by her Chinese employer of just over two months upon learning that she was sick.

The worker, C.Z.F., initially filed a discrimination complaint against the employer at the Equal Opportunities Commission over her dismissal but withdrew the case on advice by an officer at the Hong Kong Labour Department.

The officer reportedly told C.Z.F that she wouldn’t win the case because she had no more sick leave left when she was fired.

Call now!

In an interview Friday, C.Z.F., looking pale and visibly weak, said that she was dismissed on Sept 3 while confined at the Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital in Chai Wan.

At the time, she had been in the hospital for 11 days, which exceeded her sick leave entitlement of two days for every completed month of service.

She said she arrived at her employer’s house on Jun 21. On Aug. 24, or just over two months later, she had to go to the hospital due to bleeding and pain in her hips.


There she was diagnosed with early-stage cervical cancer.

After her dismissal, she said she was paid a total of $8,741.40 that included arrears in wages, pro-rata annual leave pay of $268 for 1.7 days, $4,800 as one month salary in lieu of notice, $100 travel allowance and $2,500 for her plane ticket.

She was made to sign a quitclaim after accepting the payment.


Stripped of her work visa, she no longer qualified for the heavily subsidized medical services and medication in the public hospital, so she had to use her separation pay to cover all her medical expenses and visa extension.

During the interview, she said all that was left of her air fare is $2,000, which is  not even enough to take her home Passi, Iloilo.

CZF was still confined at Eastern Hospital when her employer terminated her 

C.Z.F. said she was hoping to get financial aid so she could undergo a chemotherapy program comprising six sessions, and take supplementary medicines. Each session costs $650, aside from the $1,150 fee for each of two monthly check-ups.

She said she is lucky for now, as Marites Palma, founder of the OFW group Social Justice for Migrant Workers, had found her a place to stay – in the house of her employer’s friend who is in the United States and will return only in January.

She is sharing a room with the host’s two Filipina helpers who share their food with her.

"But I also have to buy food because I am ashamed to rely totally on them,” she said.

Tunghayan ang isa na namang Kwentong Dream Love

For now, all she could hope for is that the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration or some kind soul could help pay for her treatment, or if that is not possible, help her return home.

“I’d like to put up a little business to help us tide over as well as enable me to have my illness treated back home,” CZF said, wiping off her tears.

The single mother also worries about her 20-year-old daughter and 14-year-old son’s schooling, as their father is not supporting them. The daughter had just finished Grade 12 and the boy is in Grade 9. They live with their 76-year-old maternal grandmother.

“I haven’t told my family about my illness because I don’t want my mother to worry, as she has a weak heart,” she said.  

CZF has worked as a domestic helper in Hong Kong and Singapore for more than 12 years. 

She first worked for a Canadian employer in Singapore for 10 years.  When the employer's family decided to return home to Canada they recommended her to their friends in Hong Kong.  

But after finishing her first two-year contract here, her Canadian employers also returned home, so she had to find a new employer and signed up with the Chinese couple.  


Don't Miss