'Questionable' Filipinos

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 22 November, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 22 November, 1995, 12:00am

I REFER to Timothy Houghton's letter headlined 'Obvious' (South China Morning Post, October 23).

I did not imply that all Filipinas in Hong Kong are maids but that Filipinos loitering in Statue Square on weekdays are not bona fide maids.

According to their consulate, more than 90 per cent of Filipino nationals in Hong Kong are domestic helpers and, of the balance, 1,000 are labourers working on airport projects, with the rest professionals or married to Hong Kong residents.

By the laws of probability and simple reasoning we can deduce that those loiterers cannot be bona fide maids.

Filipino professionals and business people are not likely to mix with Filipino workers in Statue Square.

After a day in the office, they all have their own homes to go back to.

Similarly, those married to Hong Kong residents have no need to use Statue Square as a gathering place. They, too, have their own homes to return to and meals to organise.

The 1,000-odd imported contract Filipinos working at the new airport would not be able to congregate in Central at the early hour of 5pm.

As for Filipino waitresses and entertainers, also brought in under the Labour Importation Scheme, they are required to report to work early in the evening.

For bona fide full-time domestic workers, 5pm to 8pm are the most crucial hours in a household schedule, when employers will be returning home to dinners and children will have to be bathed and fed.

The only category that definitely does not belong to any of these legitimate groups are the illegal itinerant workers and those of questionable work status who shelter under the umbrella of laxity of our foreign domestic workers scheme.

K M SHEN MacDonnell Road