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Showing posts with label Features. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Features. Show all posts

Business ideas for OFWs: Innovative food products get recognition

Posted on 02 June 2024 No comments


Slow: Health drink from coconut sap

Coconut flowers, when cut before they develop into coconuts, secrete sap that has for centuries been collected by farmers in the Philippines and turned into tuba, a sweet, mildly alcoholic drink.

But what if the sap is canned right after being collected from the tree?

The result is the Power of SLOW Coconut Flower Sap, developed by Lionheart Farms Philippines Corporation, targeting the export market with a refreshing health drink perfect as an alternative to sugary drinks.

In the case of Destileria Barako Corporation, it added ube, a root crop best known as flavoring for ice cream, to vodka distilled from fermented sugarcane juice. It packaged the drink in a fancy bottle and marketed Ube Cream Liqueur in selected stores such as Kultura in SM Malls.

Long lines at its free taste tests indicate its potential for success

Ube Cream Liqueur

These products are two of the nine winners of the 2024 Katha Awards for Food, a yearly project of the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) , the export promotions arm of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), to champion Philippine food excellence.

The winners were announced as part of the IFEX Philippines 2024 held earlier this month at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City.


CITEM Deputy Executive Director and Officer in Charge Ma. Lourdes Mediran said: “Katha Awards has been a hallmark of Philippine creativity through the recognition of fresh and innovative food products and applications. It seeks to inspire courage among food entrepreneurs to explore galleries of flavors and work on new, untried idea.”

“Out of 79 products submitted for evaluation, 21 made it to the final screening and only nine (9) emerged as the creme dela creme, meticulously selected by luminaries who are all well-respected within the food community,” Mediran said.

Katha Award winners and CITEM officials

The Board of Judges for this year’s Katha Awards for Food was led by former Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary, former CITEM President and now President of International School of Sustainable Tourism, Dr. Mina Gabor. Joining her were Anna Marie Ozaeta, co-founder of the Philippine Culinary Heritage; Ferdinand Cabo Chanpongco, Food Industry Consultant; and Millie Dizon, senior vice president for marketing of SM Retail.

Here is the list of winners of the 2024 Katha Awards for Food:



The Power of SLOW Coconut Flower Sap by Lionheart Farms Philippines Corporation: A refreshing coconut flower beverage perfect as an alternative to sugary drinks.

Ube Cream Liqueur by Destileria Barako Corporation: An innovative fusion of sugar cane vodka and Filipino ube.

Ready-to-eat Savories and Home Meal Replacements

Bean Appetit Monggo with Squash in Coconut Milk and Dilis by Bestfriend Goodies: A convenient and ready-to-eat, Halal-certified monggo dish made special with squash, coconut milk, and anchovies.

Meat, Poultry and Dairy Products

Real Bacon Crisps by Baken Philippines, Inc.:Original, crispy, and smoky bacon strips made with hundred percent real pork.

Fruits and Vegetables, Seaweeds, and Plant-based Meat Alternatives

Buenas Dried Vegetables by Gem Foods International, Inc.: Seasonal leafy vegetables processed in dry format, ready to use for soup, dish, or tea.

Bakery Products and Confectionery

Handcrafted Chocolate Treats by Theo and Philo Chocolate Factory, Inc.: Ready-to-eat and handcrafted chocolate, made with real coconut and natural ingredients.

Cereals and Cereal Products

Doña Maria Brown Rice Puffs Series by SL Agritech Corporation: Crunchy, tasty, and nutritious oven-baked puff snacks made from Doña Maria Brown Rice.

Food Ingredients, Condiments, and Sweeteners

Maharlika Pure Calamansi Extract by One Vizcaya by Gulf Pacific Integrated Exports, Inc.: Pure calamansi extract conveniently packed in sachets for any time use.

Fish and Other Seafood Products

Northbay Deli Classic Salmon Smoked in Oil by Kai Anya Foods International Corporation: Ready-to-eat salmon belly strips in soya oil mixed with choice spices.

Here is the list of finalists:

The Locale Farm Strawberry Tea by Northern Roots SG Group, Inc. by The Legacy Farmers Agriculture Cooperative

Sabroso 100% Pure Cacao with Coconut Milk and Sugar by Sabroso Chocolate Manufacturing

OSH! Oh So Healthy Get Nutty (Nuts N’ Crisps Mix) by Innovative Packaging Industry Corporation

Stips Chips Salted Egg Cassava Chips by Happy Eats Corporation

unMEAT Meatballs in Spaghetti Sauce by Century Pacific Food, Inc.

unMEAT Luncheon Meat Hot & Spicy by Century Pacific Food, Inc.

Hab Eat Calamansi Extract Powder by PFP (Pautricia Food Processing) Corporation

Wangsil Radish Cubed Kimchi by Daebak Korean Food Trading

Hueza Crisps by Hueza Bakery

Daily Apple Chocolate-Coated Candied Roselle Flower by Herbanext Laboratories, Inc.

Sarap Pinoy Ginataang Bilo-Bilo by Grand Alphatech International Corporation

Coco Natura Premium Coco Syrup by Los Ricos Compania Corporation

Buenas Creamy Halo-Halo Series by Gem Foods International, Inc.

Buenas Gourmet Bagoong Tomato Flavor by Gem Foods International, Inc.

Grand Kim Sardines in Curry Sauce by ZC E & L Corporation 


OWWA admin back in HK for Fil Migrant Workers Day

Posted on 01 June 2024 No comments


The celebration features OWWA chief Arnell Ignacio, a former TV actor and singer,
alongside acclaimed singers Jed Madela and Reiven Um

Administrator Arnell Ignacio of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration will be back in Hong Kong this Sunday, Jun 2, to lead the celebration of the Filipino Migrant Workers Day on Chater Road.*

Admin Ignacio will deliver the keynote speech in the afternoon of the whole-day celebration, which will start with street zumba, to be led by invited artists from the Philippines.  

The OWWA chief might just spring another surprise like in last year’s celebration, when he joined overseas Filipino workers in their morning zumba session.


However, OWWA welfare officer Marilou M. Sumalinog said Admin Ignacio’s schedule for the day does not include any meeting with Filipino community leaders.

Also slated to deliver a speech is Consul General Germinia Aguilar-Usudan, while Labor Attache Mel Dizon will give a message of support.

Spicing up the celebration is the TFC 30th live concert starting at 4pm, featuring acclaimed Filipino artists and singers Jed Madela  and Reiven Umali.


Throughout the day, various Filipino community organizations will take part in various numbers, including a street dance, a mass dance, as well as song and talent competitions.

Top prizes await the winners in two contests, OFWs Got Talent and Battle of the Bands, where the grand winner will receive $10,000 cash as prize.

The June 2 event is co-organized by the Department of Migrant Workers, OWWA, the Philippine Consulate General (PCG) and Global Alliance Hong Kong.

It kick-starts a whole month of celebration of the 126th Philippine Independence Day, including a Diplomatic Reception and Breakfast Gathering on June 12 both hosted by the PCGl and the Annual Dinner Ball on Jun 7  Kapangyawan Luncheon gathering on Jun 16, both organized by the Philippine Association of Hong Kong. 

There will also be whole-day celebrations on Chater Road on the three remaining Sundays of June organized by various groups, including the traditional Independence Day parade and show on June 9.

* Under Republic Act 10022 which was signed into law in 1995, the Philippines has been observing June 7 as Migrant Workers Day. However, International Migrant Workers Day is held every December 18 each year.

Symposium calls for promoting harmonious MDW-employer relationship

Posted on 29 May 2024 No comments

Mission's Cynthia Tellez, PolyU's Hans Ladergaard and PathFinders' Catherine Gurtin
co-organized the symposium, 'Migrant Worker Lives Matter'

Open communication is key to ensuring a harmonious relationship between migrant domestic workers and their employers.

This was one of the key takeaways from a symposium held last Friday on the most pressing issues faced by MDWs working and living in Hong Kong, organized by the Department of English and Communication at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, in collaboration with PathFinders and the Mission for Migrant Workers.

Apart from improved employer-employee relationships, the other issues tackled in the “Migrant Worker Lives Matter” symposium were inclusivity, diversity, healthcare and promoting ethical recruitment practices by employment agencies.


Participants in the half-day seminar that included stakeholders, policy makers and academics, all agreed on the significant role played by MDWs in Hong Kong, who look after hundreds of thousands of households and provide healthcare services so their employers can go to work.

But despite their immense contribution to society, MDWs’ rights were seen as not getting enough protection.

During the discussions, three main themes were addressed: domestic work as a caring profession; migrant worker health issues; and employer-employee relationships.

In light of the growing number of MDWs coming to Hong Kong to provide elderly health care, it was agreed that the community should look for ways to foster a better understanding between them and their employers.

To achieve this, participants agreed that the following courses of action should be pursued:

  • More transparency about employment agency dealings to prevent unethical practices;
  • More information about health issues to be made available to MDWs in their own language
  • More information/education be provided to employers about MDWs’ rights and cultural variations like food
  • Open communications to foster more harmonious employer-employee relationships

The symposium recommended the establishment of more effective systems to protect MDWs' rights and wellbeing, and how the diversity they bring could be tapped to promote a more inclusive Hong Kong society.

At the same time, the importance of collaboration among NGOs, government departments and other stakeholders to ensure the rights and wellbeing of MDWs are safeguarded, were highlighted. 


Dans delights with art, vigor and humor

Posted on 20 May 2024 No comments

By Daisy CL Mandap

(We are re-publishing this article which was first printed in the June 2013 edition of  The SUN newspaper, in honor of the late Araceli Limcaco-Dans, one of the foremost portrait artists in the Philippines, who passed away at 5:50pm on Saturday, May 18. Mrs Dans had her first solo exhibition in Hong Kong nearly 11 years to this day, and during her visit, had  two talks on her art, including one  that was exclusively for Filipino migrant workers. Over dinner also at that time, she  regaled her fellow University of the Philippines alumni with stories about her memorable encounters with two of the country’s most revered National Artists, Fernando Amorsolo and Guillermo Tolentino, who were both her mentors. It is just fitting that a planned exhibition by Galleria Camaya of Mrs Dans’  works at the Visual Arts Centre on Kennedy Road, Central from June 5-10 is turned into a tribute to one of the finest artists of this generation).

The Grande Dame (seated) at the opening of her art exhibit at the Philippine Consulate 
on May 24, 2013, organized by Pintura Circle Hong Kong

If there was something apart from her mastery of her craft that surprised and delighted most of the people who were fortunate enough to have met prominent Filipino painter Araceli Limcaco-Dans during her recent visit to Hong Kong, it was her youthful vigor and sense of humor.

At age 83, Madame Dans has managed to keep her hands so steady that she is still able to paint intricate calado embroidery using not just any medium, but water color, the most difficult of them all.

One look at the stark whiteness of the calado-embroidered pina shawls in her painting, and one is hit with the certainty that this is a master people should feel privileged to have met in their lifetime. As she explained herself, that white is the paper or the canvas itself, so that one has to paint around it instead of on it, making the process a lot more laborious  


But she must love what she has been doing for the past six decades or so that this lady, dubbed as the"Grand Dame of Philippine Realist Painting" has retained the spring in her step and the banter in her tone.

Explaining for example, why she does not do portraits as often as she used to, she told this writer:"I stopped because many people want me to take 30 years off their looks. Ano ako, si Vicky Belo?" (Who did they think I was, Vicky Belo? [a popular cosmetic surgeon in the Philippines] ).

 Playful moment with her friend Bencab, who went on to become a National Artist

Master Dans was in Hong Kong from May 24-28 for a rare exhibit of her works at the Philippine Consulate, and also to give two separate talks about her art, including one that targeted Filipino migrant workers. In between she also attended a charity dinner with fellow celebrity painter, Bencab, and several other gatherings, including one hosted by her fellow alumni from the University of the Philippines.

To the amazement of many people who attended the lecture she gave at the Consulate on May 27, she also completed on site, in just over an hour, a jaw-dropping portrait sketch of the lucky winner of a charity auction held for the benefit of her favorite charity, the indigent patients at the Philippine General Hospital. The likeness, not just in physical features, but also in the character of the subject, was so impressive that it left everyone wishing for their own sitting with the celebrity artist.

To appease them, Ms Dans quipped: "If I could stay in Hong Kong longer, I will draw everyone of you."

Mrs Dans with Janeth Weil, whose portrait she did in just over an hour
The ease with which she did the sketch did not come as a surprise to many, as Ms Dans started her career doing portraits, mentored no les by two Philippine National Artists, Fernando Amorsolo and Guillermo Tolentino.

This is another reason why listening to Ms Dans talk is always a pleasurable experience, for how many people can speak about the legendary Amorsolo with as much insight and candor?

One anecdote about the Philippines' first-ever national artist that she obviously relishes sharing dates back to the time when she was still a struggling student at the U.P. College of Fine Arts. The great Amorsolo reportedly passed on some commissioned works to her, saying he knew that she could make do with some income while at school.

Her fellow alumni from UP were all ears as Mrs Dans spoke of her personal encounters
with two of the country's most revered National Artists,  Amorsolo and Tolentino

For Ms Dans, this meant being blessed twice over, because not only did her much-sought-after mentor helped her financially, he also indicated he was impressed by her, enough to pass on work that he was meant to do.

"Alam kong hindi ako mapapahiya" was what her mentor reportedly told her. (I know you would not give me cause to be embarrassed).

Another time, Amorsolo reportedly used his clout as dean of the College to let her graduate after only three years, saying she had learned everything that could be taught her in school.

"You now have to earn (money)," was what he reportedly said to send her off.

Her kinship with the less privileged must have impelled Ms Dans to also dabble in social realism. Among her collection are pieces that suggest sensitivity to such issues as abortion, illegal recruitment, and even anti-government sentiment, at a time when her husband, the late Jose P. Dans, Sr. was minister of transport under former President Ferdinand Marcos.

One of  Mrs Dans' portrayals of the social divide in the Philippines

A work that stands out shows several pieces of torn"balikbayan" boxes and a tattered shawl, which according to the artist, were meant to show her indignation over the hanging of OFW Flor Contemplacion in Singapore in 1995.

"I was devastated," she said of the incident."I used a lot of symbolism to show it- the calado in tatters, a flower turned upside down, and a balikbayan box with `illegal recruitment of workers' written on it."

Another favorite is one titled "Girl in Red", which shows a woman, apparently a prostitute, billowing smoke in the form of a foetus. The gritty picture, which clearly conveys the artist's stance against abortion, got one collector so interested that he reportedly told her to"name your price". Though tempted by the offer, Ms Dans said:"I kept it."

Through all the years that she has worked as an artist, Ms Dans said she has maintained discipline, working anywhere from between eight and 14 hours each day. She also never let anything distract her, not even a bad day.

'Tita Cheloy' in her beautiful home studio, where a young artist paid her a visit 
"Do not allow your moods to control you if you want to go far," was her advice.

The master of realist art, true to form, also scoffs at computer-generated work, or anything that she says relies merely on "gimmicks and shock effects".

For her, as for many other traditional artists, the only true yardstick of talent is one's ability to draw.

"I have always been an advocate of drawing," she said.  "For how could you paint when you can't even draw?"

Her mentor, Amorsolo, would definitely approve.

(Catch 'A Calado Legacy: A Mother and Daughter Exhibit of Mrs Dans' world-class works, alongside those of her daughter Marcy, in an exhibition by Galleria Camaya at the Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre on Kennedy Road, from June 6 to 10. The opening cocktails on June 5 is by invitation only).



BUSINESS IDEAS FOR OFWs: Low-cost business training

Posted on 13 May 2024 No comments


Photo from PTTC Facebook page

Note: With this article, The SUN embarks on a series of articles to encourage OFWs to aspire and prepare themselves to start a business back home, not just to make better use of their savings but also improve their lives as they create jobs back home and, in the process, help push economic development in the country.

Do you want to start a business in the Philippines?

First, you start learning how, so as to avoid the pitfals and mistakes that have caused failure for many who plunged into the challenge unprepared.

The Philippine government’s Philippine Trade Training Center’s Global MSME Academy (PTTC-GMEA)  - the training arm of the Department of Trade and Industry - has lined up low-cost courses that aim to teach the basics of running a business, such as accounting, to increase the chances of them succeeding.


Even OFWs in Hong Kong can join because most of the courses are livestreamed online, allowing trainors to interact with the trainees who can be anywhere in ther world.

During the International Food Exhibition (IFEX) Philippines at the World Trade Center Manila last May 10-12, for example, the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) and  the PTTC-GMEA presented free sample seminars to fair-goers.

The seminars were entitled Reinventing the Fresh Tuba Culture to Connect with Global Markets, Exporting Food Products to the European Union, and Understanding the Importance of Intellectual Property Policies.


In the regular schedule, the courses for the rest of May include Logistics Management on May 20-21, Emotional Intelligence in the Modern Workplace on May 21, Introduction to Production Management on May 28-29, and Basic Debt Management on May 30, and many more.

For June, the lineup includes Accounting for Non-Accountant on June 1, Digital Marketing: Transforming the way We Promote Business on June 18, Effective Business Communication on June 18, Internal Quality Audit on June 19-20, Basic Cash Flow Management on June 22, and many more.

To avail of these courses, those interested would need to register – for free. This is done only once, to enable them to log in for any course they want to join in the future.

Once registered, they can browse through the courses available on any day, with the corresponding prices, which range from P1,200 to P3,000.

To register, press this:

For more information, press this:

OFW artists collaborate with HK-based filmmaker in children’s book

Posted on 05 May 2024 No comments
The book's cover names both the author and MDW illustrators 

Hong Kong’s first children’s book to be illustrated by migrant domestic workers and written by film director and scriptwriter Joanna Bowers, will be launched through immersive, hands-on activities, on May 11 at Asia Society in Hong Kong.

The book, My Extra-Special Aunty, features the works of Cristina Cayat and Noemi Manguerra, both founding members of Guhit Kulay, which is comprised of MDW artists in Hong Kong.

Bowers said that in her book, she wanted to capture the special bond between Hong Kong and their domestic workers, known colloquially as “aunties,” and play an integral role in the lives of many Hong Kong families.


“By sharing this enchanting story, we hope to inspire children and families to foster meaningful connections that transcend boundaries,” said Bowers.

My Extra-Special Aunty is narrated from a child's perspective, and aims to foster empathy, kindness, and respect among children, their families, and their beloved aunties. It is depicted in both English and Traditional Chinese.

Bowers had her first directorial debut with the documentary “The Helper,” which premiered in Hong Kong in 2017, followed by a theatrical release. It was screened at the Lincoln Center in New York City in February this year.


My Extra-Special Aunty is her first book.

Cayat, who was one of two OFW-collaborators on the book and has years of experience writing articles for The SUN, said she is proud to contribute her artworks.

“Coming from the northern part of the Philippines, I wanted to bring my culture into this book by using traditional design and clothing. I think it's the perfect tool to start a conversation, inspiring young readers to appreciate different cultures and understand their Aunties better,” said Cayat.”


Manguerra,  who is now based in Canada, said her role was to illustrate the characters in the book using watercolour, which is her favourite medium.

“I believe that through the power of art, we can bridge gaps and build understanding. I'm honored to be a part of this project that showcases the incredible talent and diversity of migrant domestic workers,” she said.

The team behind the book came together in 2018 at a charity event organized by Enrich HK, and agreed to collaborate on a storytelling project using various techniques such as poetry, hand illustrations, painting, and textiles, and focus on the emotional attachments between domestic workers and the families they serve.

My Extra-Special Aunty is now on sale at The Lion Rock Press and Bookazine outlets. 


HK prepares for tourist arrivals over Labour Day Golden Week

Posted on 01 May 2024 No comments


Customs officials direct passenger traffic arrangements at the Lo Wu crossing 

Hong Kong Customs has drawn up a series of measures to prepare for the arrival of tourists from the Mainland as the Labour Day Golden Week across the border starts today, May 1.

According to official arrangements, Chinese workers will start a five-day break from today, although this is the only the actual holiday during this period. May 2 and 3 are compensation days for working on April 28, a Sunday, and on May 11, a Saturday. May 4 and 5 is a weekend.

Customs Commissioner Louise Ho inspected operations at the Lo Wu Control Point and the Express Rail Link West Kowloon Control Point, and met frontline staff there yesterday to direct the arrangements at the control points for the long holiday.

Ho said there will a flexible deployment of staff to ensure smooth operations and speed up passenger clearance at each control point.


Customs has also stepped up patrols at popular shopping spots in various districts and distributed pamphlets at land boundary control points and popular shopping spots to ensure that the rights of customers are protected.

Ahead of the five-day holiday, Customs also produced promotional videos  shared on social media platforms on the mainland, to warn customers about common unfair trade practices in Hong Kong. Mainland tourists were particularly reminded to pay attention to import and export requirements as well as items that are prohibited and controlled.

Among the targeted places for the information drive are shops selling dried seafood and ginseng medicine and jewelry in such tourist hubs as Yau Tsim Mong  and Causeway Bay. Retail shops and workers in the tourist industry are also reminded not to violate the Trade and Description Ordinance (TDO).


Tourists are also advised to check on product specifications and make comparisons before buying. They  should only patronize reputable shops, and carefully check the listed prices for the goods before paying.

Customs has also set up a Quick Response Team in response to the expected rise in the number of cases of unfair trade practices committed against Mainland tourists by local shops .

Under the TDO, any seller who adopts unfair trade practices, including making false trade descriptions in relation to goods, misleading omissions, aggressive commercial practices as well as bait and switch practices, commits an offence. The maximum penalty for offenders is a fine of $500,000 and imprisonment for five years.

The public is encouraged to report suspected violations of the TDO to the Customs' 24-hour hotline 2545 6182 or its dedicated crime-reporting email account ( or online form ( 

How kindness can get you trapped into crime

Posted on 21 April 2024 No comments


Fr. John Wotherspoon speaks to migrant workers about the dangers of being too trusting

Be  careful. Be very careful.

This was the advice community leaders were asked to emphasize to their members last Sunday, in a workshop organized to show how the tentacles of drug syndicates have clawed into the ranks of unsuspecting foreign domestic workers.

In this time of internet shopping, many have been jailed for receiving parcels that turned out to contain drugs. Some were caught running errands to help out friends, for which they got arrested as drug traffickers.

And if they do get arrested, the charges are difficult to shake off.


And now, an even bigger threat has emerged for domestic workers: getting involved in money laundering.

“Just being kind these days is dangerous,“ lamented Fr. John Wotherspoon, CEO of Voice for Prisoners and prison chaplain at Correctional Services Department.

He related the case of a former domestic helper and now an asylum seeker, who used to go to a park in Yuen Long.


“A local Chinese guy became friends with her. One day, the guy phoned her, saying a friend had just arrived in Hong Kong. He asked her to go to a hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui, to get something for him. Being a kind, trusting, simple Filipina, there's no question of payment and she went. She was just being kind and helpful,” Fr Wothespoon said.

“When she got to the hotel, there was an old American guy (who got arrested earlier for bringing in drugs). We got him out on bail as well. He was tricked to go to Sau Paulo in Brazil, and he thought he was bringing cheese to Hong Kong. They were both arrested,” he added.

Fr. Wotherspoon also showed a video of him interviewing a Filipina domestic helper who was arrested after accepting a parcel as a favor for a friend she met three months before.


The friend had told her she was expecting a parcel of cosmetics from South Africa and could not receive it because she was leaving for the Philippines.

When the parcel arrived, the Filipina received it and signed the delivery receipt.

It turned out that the parcel had earlier been detected to contain 203.7 grams of shabu (also known as ice) and was brought to her by a Customs officer posing as a delivery man.

She was arrested and handcuffed, and other agents entered the house to search for drugs but found nothing.

For one month, while detained at Tai Lam Prison, she was not allowed to contact her family.

She was taken to a Magistrate’s court two months later, only for the case to be elevated to the High Court where, after a six-day trial, she was acquitted by a seven-member jury.

“Talking about being kind,” said Vivian Cheung, services program manager of Equal Justice Hong Kong, “we also have a lot of domestic helpers being arrested for money laundering and most of them started off being kind to lend their ATM cards to a friend in Central on a day off who tell them, ‘I need to open a bank account.’

“A lot of our clients are innocent and just wanted to be of help,” she said.

Raquel Amador, community education manager of the NGO Equal Justice Hong Kong, said in cases such as these, those under arrest should remain silent and insist on being allowed to call friends or relatives or even the Consulate for help.

Barrister Jonathan Kwok, who had worked pro bono on several cases involving domestic helpers, said it is difficult to get bail for cases that involve receiving parcels “because it cannot be disputed that the parcel is in your possession at some point.”

“You need to wait for the trial before you can explain your side to the jury,” he said.

“For domestic helpers, it's very difficult to get bail in the face of a serious charge…. It's sad for us lawyers to see,“ he added.

The workshop was held at the ESG Innovation Lab in Central and presented by Equal Justice HK, Voice for Prisoners and PathFinders.


DH warns against using slimming product

Posted on 17 April 2024 No comments


Slimming product that contains banned ingredients

Hong Kong's Department of Health (DH) has warned against consuming a slimming product because it contains undeclared controlled and banned drug ingredients.

Honey Q Level Up, purchased online during the DH's market surveillance and tested by the Government Laboratory, was found to contain sibutramine, benzyl sibutramine and fluoxetine, which are Part 1 poisons under the Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance.

Sibutramine was once used as an appetite suppressant. Since November 2010, pharmaceutical products containing sibutramine have been banned in Hong Kong because of an increased cardiovascular risk. Benzyl sibutramine is a substance structurally similar to sibutramine. Fluoxetine is used for treatment of mood disorders and may cause hallucination and insomnia.


According to the Ordinance, all pharmaceutical products must be registered with the Pharmacy and Poisons Board of Hong Kong before they can be legally sold in the market.

Illegal sale or possession of unregistered pharmaceutical products or Part 1 poisons are criminal offences. The maximum penalty for each offense is a fine of $100,000 and two years' imprisonment. 

In a statement the DH urged members of the public not to buy products of unknown or doubtful composition, or to consume products from unknown sources.


Those who have purchased his product should stop consuming it immediately. They should consult healthcare professionals for advice if feeling unwell after consumption.

The spokesman added that weight control should be achieved through a balanced diet and appropriate exercise. The public should consult healthcare professionals before using any medication for weight control.

They may visit the website of the Drug Office of the DH for "Health message on overweight problem and slimming products" and "Slimming products with undeclared Western drug ingredients" for information. 

The public may submit the product to the Drug Office of the DH at Room 1801, Wu Chung House, 213 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai, during office hours for disposal.  

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