Foreign domestic workers in Hong Kong

Deserve to be treated decently

PUBLISHED : Friday, 03 December, 1993, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 03 December, 1993, 12:00am

LAST year, there were proposals to banish domestic helpers from their usual meeting points on Sundays. The reason: they are an eyesore and make Hong Kong dirty. With the proposal came the suggestion that domestic helpers be kept in an enclosure (such as parking lots) hidden from the public eye.

And now, the ''no maids allowed in this lift'' restriction. I wonder what is next? The order by the management of Tregunter Towers forbidding Filipino domestic helpers from using the main lift is not only outrageous. It is very demeaning and insulting. Such racist arrogance! It is not an easy job being a domestic helper. We came here, forced by economic needs, because our own government cannot provide us with jobs which will enable us to sustain our families. But I believe that our presence in Hong Kong has also contributed a lot to Hong Kong's economy. Because of our presence, thousands of housewives have been liberated from housework and can therefore engage in jobs that can bring more income to Hong Kong.

Yes, we are domestic helpers but that doesn't make us less human. And for the service we render to the best of our ability and capacity, we deserve to be treated decently.

MARRZ SALUDEZ BALAORO Chairperson United Filipinos (UNIFIL) in Hong Kong