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25,000 PH workers may lose jobs over n-CoV travel ban to HK, Macau

AN estimated 25,000 Filipino household service workers (HSWs) or domestic helpers may lose their jobs over the travel ban imposed by the Philippines on Hong Kong and Macau as part of its precautionary measure to contain the spread of the 2019 novel Corona Virus (n-CoV).

The figure consists of 10, 000 returning and 15,000 newly contracted HSWs, according to recruitment authorities.

Alfredo Palmiery, president of the Society of Hong Kong Accredited Recruiters of the Philippines (SHARP), said the 15,000 HSWs with new contracts for employers in Hong Kong have only two to three weeks to join their new employers or lose their jobs.

The estimated 10,000 returning HSWs who are now in the Philippines on vacation for two to three weeks may also end up jobless if they cannot return on time.

The government is extending assistance to OFWs affected by the temporary ban on the travel to China, Hong Kong, Macau and other declared affected areas, the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) announced on Monday.

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has strictly implemented the travel ban following directives from Malacanang.

But Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello 3rd has assured the affected workers of financial assistance, including accommodation and transportation, to ease their plight.

Bello, who is currently in Kuwait, directed acting Secretary Renato Ebarle of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) to provide P10,000 cash assistance,
accommodation and transportation to each stranded OFW caught by the travel ban.WILLIAM B. DEPASUPIL

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