ConGen Raly to bring up FDH long working hours with CE Carrie Lam

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CONSUL General Raly Tejada vowed to bring up the issue of the long working hours of Filipino domestic workers when he meets with Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam next month.

Speaking at a Filipino community leaders’ meeting on Nov. 3, Tejada said he would also discuss with the HK leader the need for Filipino helpers to have decent accommodation.

“Nag-usap po kami ng ibang kasama natin sa community at nabanggit nila ang isang issue rin po ang suitability ng ating mga bahay kung saan po tayo natutulog. May nagsabi sa akin, may natutulog sa staircase, which is not acceptable po. Meron po natutulog sa kitchen. That is also not acceptable. It has to be humane and safe for everyone,” Tejada said during the meeting at the Philippine Consulate General in Admiralty.

“Meron din nagsabi na yung long working hours is an issue sapagkat nagtratrabaho lampas sa walong oras yung mga kasama natin,” he said.

“We aim to address these issues because we are your representatives and we will be able to convey these issues to the government of Hong Kong,” he added.

Tejada said the meeting with Lam was tentatively set in the first week of December. He urged Filipinos in the city to convey to the consulate their other concerns.

“Magkakaroon po ako ng pagkakataon na makausap po si Chief Executive, I believe, in the first week of December. Sasabihin ko po sa kanya yung inyong mga concerns,” Tejada said.

“So please, let us know yung mga outstanding issues that you wish to convey. Because if they don’t know our problems, our issues, hindi po nila matutugunan ito,” he said.

“Alam ko yung iba recurring na yung mga issues but still we need to keep on reminding them that these are important things to us. That the government needs to address these for us so that our stay here in Hong Kong will be fruitful and suitable,” he added.

Tejada said that, as of September 2019, the number of Filipinos living and working in Hong Kong had reached 238,493. According to the HK Immigration Department, there were 218,883 Filipino domestic workers in the city as of September.

In August, consulate officers asked Hong Kong officials during their regular technical working group meeting that Filipino domestic workers who have been with their employers for at least five years should get their long service pay, even if they are the ones who break their contract.