Centres should stay open

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 24 December, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 24 December, 1994, 12:00am

WHAT a message of Christmas cheer to be sending to Hong Kong's Filipino community. The Sunday centres, set up to offer them an alternative meeting place to Statue Square, will be closed on Christmas Day. They will also be closed on all other public holidays. In other words, on the days the centres are needed most, the domestic helpers' days off, the doors will be shut.

This is an absurd arrangement. Do restaurants close for lunch? Does public transport shut down in the rush hour? Why should Sunday centres be closed on Sundays? That the closures should have been negotiated between the Bayanihan Trust which runs the centres and the school principals is bad enough. The trust, run by Filipinos, must have been aware of the consequences of keeping the centres closed for up to 15 weeks a year. But that nobody thought to point it out at the time to the centres' clientele was, to say the least, insensitive.