Bello: ‘Go easy on the tong-its’

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Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III

Don’t gamble away your savings.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III urged overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Hong Kong not to get addicted to gambling, particularly the card game known as “tong-its”.

Bello said in a dialogue with OFWs at the Hong Kong University during his recent visit that it was better to save than gamble away one’s earnings.

“Huwag lang kayo mag tong-its. Day, ayaw pagtong-it gyud,” Bello told his audience, who replied that many played the game here in Hong Kong.

“Alam nyo, noong abogado pa ako, nagpunta ako sa Roma. Nagyaya yung mga Pinoy sa train station. Pagpunta ko, ang daming Pinoy. Hala, tong-its, pusoy, lahat nanduon. Huwag niyo gawin yun dito,” he said.

In September last year, the Hong Kong police arrested 13 Filipino domestic workers after they were caught gambling openly in public.

“Marami bang ganyan? Kayo, huwag niyo waldasin pera ninyo,” Bello said. “Ilagay niyo sa OWWA (Overseas Workers Welfare Administration). Pera ng OFW ang OWWA.”

The Philippine Consulate General last year warned Filipinos in HK against illegal gambling activities, especially during their day off on Sundays.

“Ayon sa Ordinansya ng Hong Kong tungkol sa pagsusugal, ang sinumang maaresto ng pulisya sa akto ng ilegal na pagsusugal sa kalye ay mahahatulan ng korte sa unang pagkakataon ng pagmumulta ng HK$10,000 at pagkabilanggo ng tatlong buwan,” it said.

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