BAN ON HK-BOUND MAIDS LIFTED SOON -- GMA

Manila, March 17, 2003 -- President Gloria Arroyo has promised to rescind the country's ban to send domestic workers to Hong Kong.

According to a media report, Pres. Arroyo said she will be lifting the Philippines' ban to send Filipino maids to work in the former British colony soon with their filing of a suit against Hong Kong with the International Labor Organization.

She explained that the government just wanted to added pressure to the Hong Kong government to lift their new tax law against domestic workers, hence their decision to presently forego sending the workers.

She also pointed out that it was not only the Philippine government that was against Hong Kong's new tax law but also Hong Kong employers and other Asian countries sending their own nationals to work there.

The President had suspended sending new overseas Filipino workers in Hong Kong in reaction to their plan to cut in April by this year the wages of foreign domestic workers by HK$400.

There are around 153,000 Filipino maids currently working in Hong Kong.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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