• Mon
  • Dec 22, 2014
  • Updated: 5:16am
NewsHong Kong

Domestic helper is happier back home, says employer

Maid who lost right-of-abode battle will enjoy better life in Philippines, says her former boss

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 28 March, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 28 March, 2013, 5:57am

One of the two domestic helpers at the centre of this week's right-of-abode case will be happier living in the Philippines than in Hong Kong, her former boss said.

Barry Ong said Evangeline Vallejos, 60, had returned to the Philippines in October, even though her contract expired only next month.

"The [cost of] living here is so high. I am sure she will be happier than you or me while living in the Philippines," Ong told the South China Morning Post yesterday. He was speaking two days after the Court of Final Appeal ruled that foreign domestic helpers do not have the right to apply for permanent residency and affirmed the government's right to impose immigration controls.

The [cost of] living here is so high. I am sure she will be happier than you or me while living in the Philippines

Ong, an artist, said Vallejos - who moved to Hong Kong in 1986 and challenged the city's immigration policy in a two-year legal battle - always knew she had little chance of winning right of abode.

"Vangie was never looking on the bright side of this case … that's why she went back to the Philippines. She knew it would not be easy [to win]," he said.

Vallejos' lawyer, Mark Daly, said on Monday that Vallejos, who received legal aid to fund the two-year lawsuit, had been left "speechless" but was "calmly resigned" after the ruling.

Vallejos is now living in a large house with a big plot of land and gets financial help from her seven children, all of whom have completed university degrees. One is a doctor, while another is an architect, according to her lawyer. She has 11 grandchildren.

In September 2011, the Court of First Instance ruled in favour of Vallejos and said the immigration law that prevented domestic helpers from seeking permanent residency was unconstitutional.

But the Court of Appeal reversed the decision in March last year on the grounds the government must have the power to impose immigration controls.



For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive



This article is now closed to comments

Think about it this way. When you apply for certain types of visas, you are not allowed right of abode and permanent residency. Why should Hong Kong be any different? Should countries start taking every single person in? No. That is a rubbish idea.
Never would her kids have become Dr / Lawyer if the amazing opportunity to work in Hong Kong had not been offered to her. If she had lived all the time in Philippines then she would have been in poverty and not been able to have the amazing life experience she had and the great retirement going forward. But does she say thank you to Hong Kong? No she sues and causes allot of bad feelings between Philippines and Hong Konger's. She single handedly soured the relationships between the two groups because of greed.


SCMP.com Account