No ban, mandatory repatriation of OFWs in HK yet – DOLE
MANILA, Philippines — There is no deployment ban or mandatory repatriation of Filipino workers in Hong Kong yet despite the continuing protests there, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said on Sunday.
Bello made the clarification in a statement after posts spread on social media claiming that the government had imposed mandatory repatriation of overseas Filipino workers in the “semi-autonomous Chinese territory.”
“Right now there is no communication from the DFA [Department of Foreign Affairs] and even from the consulate of Hong Kong regarding the possibility of repatriation, either voluntary or mandatory. We are in close coordination with the DFA for any development,” Bello said.
He reminded the public to be wary of posts on social media while urging those who spread fake news online to stop as it might endanger OFWs.
“We should help our OFWs there by not giving them false news about [mandatory] repatriation,” Bello said.
Bello said that no OFW in Hong Kong had expressed willingness to be repatriated.
He added that the consulate was continuing to monitor the situation in Hong Kong and advised Filipinos there to stay indoors as much as possible and avoid wearing white and black shirts in the streets as they might be mistaken for protesters.
Filipinos planning on traveling to Hong Kong are also advised to reschedule their trips if possible.