27,290 fewer FDWs after a three-year pandemic period
The Hong Kong Secretary for Labor and Welfare, Dr. Law Chi-kwong at the Legislative Council meeting last January 19, said that as the local epidemic situation has worsened rapidly, the Hong Kong Government vigilantly upholds the policy of guarding against the importation of cases. He added that the admission of FDHs to Hong Kong should be implemented in a risk-controlled as well as gradual and orderly manner.
Thus, from the start of the year 2019, the start Covid-19 cases were recorded in Hong Kong until the end of the year 2021, the number of Filipino domestic workers continued to decrease its population.
In January 2019, there were 213,110 Filipino domestic workers in Hong Kong and increased in numbers at the end of the year even with cases of Covid-19 continued, until the first month of 2020, which raised to 219,728.
But from the beginning of the year 2020, the number started to decline and ended with 207,402 in the given year or a decrease of 12,326.
A total of 12,998 FDWs were out of jobs in Hong Kong in the year 2021, as it started with a population of 204,781, and ended with 191,783.
And for the past three-year-of pandemic in Hong Kong (2019-2021), a total of 27,290 FDWs left Hong Kong for varied reasons and consequences
The Secretary said, the Immigration Department has specifically maintained the entry figures of Foreign Domestic Helpers (FDHs) since July 2020. In the past two years, the number of inbound FDH trips at various immigration control point
|Year||2020 (July – December)||2021|
|Number of inbound FDH trips (Note 5)||19 328||22 394|
As regards the submission of applications for entry visa for FDH employment in Hong Kong, the Secretary explained that it normally takes about four to six weeks for the ImmD to complete the processing of an application upon receipt of all necessary documents and during the pandemic, the ImmD has implemented a series of measures to expedite the processing of FDH employment visas. These include the streamlining of workflow, flexible manpower deployment enhanced application of electronic services, etc.
The Secretary added that in general, the processing of a case can be completed as fast as two weeks upon receipt of all necessary documents by the ImmD. Besides, the ImmD has set up a dedicated “Online Services for Foreign Domestic Helpers” website and has in December 2021 further launched electronic services for visa application and an “e-Visa” arrangement. There is no need for FDHs and their employers to attend an office of the ImmD in person to go through the formalities, which is both convenient and time-saving.
Concerning the number of Designated Quarantine Facilities (DQFs), the Secretary said room quotas should only be prudently adjusted under this principle to alleviate the serious shortage of FDHs in Hong Kong.
In the previous interview with the Philippine Labor Attache (LabAtt) Melchor Dizon in Hong Kong, he said that the decreases can be linked to the imposition of flights last April, travel restrictions and protocols in the Philippines considering the yellow card can only be secured in the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) in Manila (on October), limited number and expensive quarantine facilities, and the ImmD policy on suspected “job-hopping.