Migrant workers in Hong Kong (HK) are demanding a response to a list of complaints they submitted in a dialogue with Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) and Philippine Consulate officials last April.
More than a month after their FilCom(Filipino Community) Leaders Meeting in the Chinese territory, Migrante-HK said they have yet to hear migrant workers secretary Susan Ople’s official response to their complaints, prompting them to write another letter to the DMW.
The migrant workers pressed their demand for the scrapping of the Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) they need to secure to be allowed to exit the Philippines.
They also wanted a stop to the mandatory payment of PhilHealth, Social Security System (SSS) and Philippine Home Mortgage Corporation (Pag-Ibig) contributions.
The OFWs said these payments, increased during the Rodrigo Duterte administration, must only be voluntary
They also demanded the continuation of Covid assistance payments to OFWs sick of the virus, as well as prompt assistance by consulate and Philippine Overseas Labor Office personnel to Filipinos in distress abroad.
Migrante-HK said Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) deputy administrator Honey Quino has already committed to continuing assistance to OFWs sick with Covid as well as to Filipinos in distress.
DMW undersecretary Patricia Yvonne Caunan announced the review of the OEC, the group added.
But the OFWs said they need to hear from Ople herself, especially the assurance of receiving help from the OWWA for both members and non-members.
“It is not enough that additional payments (to PhilHealth, SSS and Pag-Ibig) are suspended. We want the total scrapping of the OEC,” the group said. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)