Asking for Help, a better way to keep you sane during pandemic

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Filipino Domestic Workers during their day-off, connecting with their fellow kababayan.

For the past two months, three Filipino domestic workers were reported by Hong Kong Police to have committed suicide.

A 41-year-old domestic worker from Bicol was first reported on Aug. 19. She was found by her employer hanged on her room. Family members who were also working in Hong Kong said the domestic worker was burdened by financial obligations.

Another Filipina Worker was added on the list on Sept. 27, she was found hanged tied with a rope inside her room at her employer’s residence in Tseung Kwan O. The 36-year-old domestic worker was certified dead at the scene. After the investigation, the police concluded that there was no sign of any suspicious wounds on her body and no will found in her room.

Earlier this month, a domestic worker from Iloilo was found by her employer with a rope tied at her neck inside the employer’s bathroom. She was sent to Eastern hospital but later certified dead. In a record from OWWA, the 47-year-old Filipina worker was experiencing a personal problem.

These Filipino domestic workers were working in Hong Kong to support their families back home financially and meet the day-to-day requirements which includes food, medicine, and bills.

It’s saddening that these things happened to the Filipino community, which numbers tallied over 200,000. Majority of whom are women, whose work is to provide domestic jobs in Hong Kong and face various challenges as temporary residents with a visa that allows them to stay based on their employment contract.

No one is alone.

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There are hundreds of different organizations registered and not registered at the Philippine Consulate for a variety of causes, including religious, thematic, livelihood, regional, and other reasons to connect and join with fellow countrymen on their once-a-week day-off.

Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) also provide assistance to domestic workers and are willing to listen and assist individuals in need.

The Philippine Consulate with Assistance to Nationals (ATN), the Department of Social Welfare (DSWD), and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) are Philippine government departments and programs that help Filipinos in need. A domestic worker can also join and engage in many projects, activities and events run by the Philippine consulate, which are accessible to all Filipinos in Hong Kong.

In Hong Kong, services are also available to all residents of the city. English-speaking non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and government initiatives aimed specifically towards domestic workers have been established and are available to individuals seeking assistance.

Let’s stay connected in this season of loneliness and despair, especially during these trying times where we need to support each other. Let us keep in mind that we are temporarily residing in Hong Kong to help our family to meet their financial needs. We also have our beautiful Philippines, where we may return to our loved ones who are waiting for us.

To all of those who are in need of help and need someone to talk to, you can contact the following helplines:

Overseas Workers Welfare
Administration (OWWA)                                       6345 9324

HELP for Domestic Workers                                2523 4020

Bethune House Migrant
Women’s Refuge                                                     2721 3119

The Samaritans Hong Kong                                 2896 0000