• Tue
  • Sep 23, 2014
  • Updated: 11:44am
Foreign domestic workers in Hong Kong
NewsHong Kong

Filipinos concerned Hong Kong visa sanctions against officials might affect them

PUBLISHED : Monday, 03 February, 2014, 3:59am
UPDATED : Monday, 03 February, 2014, 3:59am

The city's Filipino community is worried that sanctions over the bungled bus hostage drama may affect more than just officials visiting Hong Kong.

The government last week announced that official and diplomatic Philippine passport holders - up to 800 of them visit the city each year - would no longer be allowed to enjoy a 14-day visa-free arrangement.

Zoe, a Filipino maid working in the city, said: "It's all right for officials and it is also a wake-up call that they have to take care of people coming to the Philippines as we are taken care of by the people in Hong Kong." But she added the sanctions should not affect ordinary citizens.

Eman Villanueva, vice-chairman of the Filipino Migrant Workers' Union in Hong Kong, said many of his compatriots feared stronger sanctions could be on the way.

"We as a people do not want this to escalate and we are worried because some politicians are using this to advance their own political agenda," he said.

But People Power lawmaker Chan Chi-chuen has said the visa move was not enough and again urged the government to stop issuing work visas to Filipino domestic helpers from April.

His party wants an end to all visa-free treatment for Philippine passport holders by mid-2015 if Manila refuses to apologise for the 2010 tragedy, in which eight Hong Kong people died.

Villanueva said his union did not support any sanctions, saying both sides should use diplomatic means to work out a solution.

He said the incident would have been settled if President Benigno Aquino had followed the recommendations of an independent panel and backed the filing of criminal charges against eight police and government officials for their roles in the crisis.

Aquino instead ordered the filing of administrative charges against six of these officials.

"Survivors are clinging on the apology because the president did not follow the recommendations," Villanueva said, adding that Manila had "nothing to lose" by offering an apology if it could end the saga.


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China will break HK piece by piece and HK will keep losing is face to the world..its just a matter of time when this so called world city will just be called the backwaters of PRC. Diplomacy and civility has never been China's forte
Just a matter of time before the Philippines become as poor as Africa.
Mr. Villanueva, stop being a wimp and stand up tall. Hong Kong NEEDS the OFWs much more than the Philippines needs the money. If the pork thefts and other corruption is halted, the money avaiable to be used CORRECTLY and help the poor of the Philippines will far exceed the remittances sent by the OFEs from Hong Kong. Bring all the HK OFWs home and see how quickly HK people will back down.
zvichadashote, you are living in a bubble and should break out of it to realize the economic benefit this provides to PI via HK. This is a micro economy and it benefits the PI people. How many cities in the PI actually are above the level of poverty. PI is a country with no contribution to the world economy in any meaningful form. What is brought back is lining the pockets of some bureaucratic in some way. So as the old adage goes, don't bite the hand that feeds you. OFW's choose to work in HK, they aren't brought over against their will. They are not brought over as indentured servants either. No one wants to commute so far and be away from their families for such long periods. This is the result of poor leadership from generation to generation and inability to escape poverty.
If the Philippines actually had an economy in the first place, women wouldn't need to leave the country to look for work in places such as Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, and now in the Middle East.
Bring all the OFWs home and exactly who's going to feed them and their families? You? Bring them all back lol, what makes you think they want to come back??


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