CONSIDER OTHER LABOR MARKETS BESIDED HK -- ANGARA  

Manila, March 10, 2003 -- Sen. Edgardo Angara yesterday urged the government to initiate the slow phase out of Hong Kong and explore other market-countries where Filipino domestic helpers and caregivers can be deployed, preferably in Europe.

"I think Europe has now much greater demand for the services of our people.

We should slowly phase out of the Hong Kong market, given the unilateral move of its government to cut the basic pay of domestics," he said.

Angara also said he believed the government was only trying to help the Filipinos by boycotting the sending of domestics to Hong Kong.

"Unfortunately, some of our people will accept whatever the Hong Kong government does because of lack of work opportunities in the country," he said.

He said it was right to send a strong government position to Hong Kong, but the ban on deployment should not have been imposed by the Philippines without consulting the Filipino workers.

"We must gradually phase out the deployment of caregivers and domestics to Hong Kong, but it should not be prohibited because some people would still want to accept a reduced salary than to have no income at all," he said.

Angara said sending Filipino caregivers and domestics to Europe, specially in the developed countries, would be preferable because of higher pay, good working conditions and relatively better treatment. (Tribune)


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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