News from home: Hong Kong OFWs protest possible regulation, Qatar building collapse

Kaycee Valmonte - Philstar.com
News from home: Hong Kong OFWs protest possible regulation, Qatar building collapse
United Filipinos in Hong Kong are protesting against the possible implementation of new regulations that would curtail the movement of overseas Filipino workers deployed as domestic helpers.
United Filipinos in Hong Kong

MANILA, Philippines — From overseas Filipino workers in Hong Kong protesting a proposed measure that would prevent them from leaving bad employers to updates on the well-being of OFWs affected by a building collapsing in Qatar – these were among our headlines and news stories from the past week we think you should know if you’re a Filipino based abroad.

Overseas Filipinos 

  • Hong Kong-based OFWs are protesting a proposed policy that would curtail their movements as lawmakers are proposing to regulate the termination of migrant domestic workers’ contracts to prevent them from leaving their employers and changing jobs.

    The new policy would punish OFWs seeking to leave bad employers. Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s immigration agency does not require valid reasons for contract termination, which could leave migrant domestic workers in a vulnerable position if their employers choose to do so.

  • The OFWs who were injured following the collapse of a building in Qatar have since recovered, the Department of Migrant Workers said on Thursday. The two OFWs suffered bruises, but have since been discharged from the Hamad General Hospital.

  • Labor leader and Vice President for Research, Advocacy, and Partnerships of the Federation of Free Workers, Julius Cainglet, said the DMW should strive to eventually be irrelevant, with the goal of providing decent and quality work back home.

    Cainglet said the decision to migrate should be an individual’s own decision and “not when they’re forced by circumstances.”

Work and the economy

  • The National Economic and Development Authority plans to depend on the growth of the industry and services segment of the country’s domestic economy to uplift the agricultural sector, which is the priority of the Marcos Jr. administration. 
  • The country’s first initial public offering this year listed on the local bourse last Friday, ending flat at P1.28 – unchanged from its offer price. Alternergy, a renewable energy holding company with a portfolio of wind, solar, hydro, among others, raised P1.62 billion in net proceeds.

    Analysts said there is "no huge appetite" for IPOs, with most investors still stuck on previous listings. 

Politics and the nation

  • The Supreme Court said marital infidelity is a form of psychological abuse under the anti-Violence against Women and their Children Act. 

    The SC said this as its First Division junked a petition for certiorari filed by a husband who was appealing being convicted of the Anti-VAWC Act – the man cohabitated with another woman and impregnated her while his wife was working overseas. 

  • President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. hinted that some of the new sites included in the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement between the US and the Philippines will be “scattered” around the country, with “some in the north… some around Palawan… some further south.” The specific locations for the four new EDCA sites will be announced soon, he said.

  • Nine out of 10 Filipinos feel the impact of climate change, a Social Weather Stations survey released last week. Majority or 88% of respondents also felt that they could do something to reduce climate risks, like saving electricity at home, walking or cycling or opting to take public transportation, and recycling, among others. 

  • Authorities finally found MT Princess Empress, an oil tanker carrying 800,000 liters of oil, three weeks after it sank along Naujan in Oriental Mindoro. Clean-up efforts after the oil spill continue, this time with the help of other nations such as Japan, the US, and South Korea. 

    Lawyers and environment advocates, however, continue to call on the government and all parties involved in the incident for accountability.

You can view last week’s rundown here or sign up for the newsletter here

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