More civil servants may be posted on mainland More civil servants may be posted to the mainland under plans to expand a staff exchange programme. Hong Kong officials say they are seeking to extend the programme to more mainland cities in addition to the present arrangements with Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou and Guangdong. Each side can post three to five officers to the other side for a maximum of two months a year. More than 40 middle-ranking and senior local civil servants have been attached to various mainland agencies, such as those for city planning, construction, and public health over the past three years. The officers were generally engaged in familiarisation activities, inspection visits and experience-sharing seminars, rather than policymaking or departmental operations. Anthony Mak Chi-yuen, who is the assistant principal training officer of the Civil Service Training and Development Institute, said the average cost of posting an officer across the border was HK$20,000, which covered the transport and accommodation allowances. Salaries continued to be paid by the officers' own government. 'The programme will cover more cities in future,' Mr Mak said, but he declined to provide more details pending discussion with the relevant authorities. Re-election of Tsang fails to boost confidence, survey shows Fewer people are confident the return of Donald Tsang Yam-kuen to office will benefit Hong Kong's future compared with when he was first elected, a University of Hong Kong poll found. Of the 509 respondents, 31 per cent said their confidence in the future had increased because of his return, compared to 52 per cent two years ago. However, the first competitive election also meant 44 per cent of respondents were satisfied with the election process, compared to 39 per cent in 1996 and 36 per cent in 2005. Half the respondents felt Mr Tsang achieved his goal of facing the public. The sampling error was plus or minus 4 per cent. A survey of 1,802 people by the New Century Forum think-tank found the election had led to greater public confidence in all policy areas. But most scores were still low - three or four out of seven. The last survey was in December. Absentee ballots for Filipinos Some 96,000 Filipinos in Hong Kong will be able to cast absentee votes in the Philippine elections, which begin on April 14. Consul-General Alejandrino Vicente presided over the counting of sealed ballot boxes, ballot papers, canvassing forms and other materials sent by the Philippine Commission on Elections. The voting centre is at the Bayanihan Kennedy Town Centre.