PHL defers ban on window cleaning by its workers in HK
HONG KONG — Philippine officials here have deferred the implementation of the ban on Filipino domestic helpers to clean the windows of their employer's flat in high-rise buildings.
The 30-day deferment, which came following a request from the Hong Kong labor officials, did not sit well with Filipino migrant leaders, who said they were "shocked" by it.
Hong Kong labor officials reportedly asked for a deferment to give them more time to study the ban and work out how to implement it
"We hope that whatever discussions and negotiations that will follow as a result of this deferment will include the workers, particularly the Asian Migrants' Coordinating Body (AMCB), who are the ones campaigning strongly on this issue," said Eman Villanueva of the AMCB and the Filipino Migrant Workers Union.
"We hope that the Consulates of the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Nepal, Sri Lanka, India and others will stand by the position of their constituencies and will not give in to the pressures exerted by the HKSAR government, employment agencies and employers' associations," Villanueva added.
In a memo dated October 1, Philippine Labor Attache Jalilo dela Torre, in a memo issued October 1, directed all employment agencies accredited by the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) to include a provision in contracts of Filipino domestic helpers starting October 15 banning the latter from cleaning the exterior of windows in high-rise buildings.
Employment agencies and employers' associations, however, expressed misgivings over the ban, saying that it was not discussed with them and there were other ways to ensure the safety of domestic workers while cleaning the windows.
A meeting between the HK SAR officials, POLO, and the Philippine Consulate General about the ban is scheduled this week. —KBK, GMA News