GOVT LIFTS OFW BAN TO HONG KONG

Manila, April 9, 2003 -- The government has lifted the ban on labor 
deployment to Hong Kong, imposed in protest of the cut on foreign maids' 
wages there.

Philippine Overseas Employment Administration chief Rosalinda Baldoz said 
Tuesday the lifting of the ban automatically followed the filing of a case 
before a HK court questioning the legality of the wage cut.
  Baldoz said her agency resumed processing the papers of HK-bound domestic 
workers on April 1, and that the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in the 
territory had been given instructions to double-check all contracts being 
renewed from that end.

In both cases, she said, full disclosure on the wages being offered were 
required of recruiters and employers.

"The consensus among non-government organizations and industry players was 
to leave the decision to the workers-if they agree to the wages specified 
in their contracts," Baldoz said in a phone interview.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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