HONG KONG — Filipinas here marked the International Women's Day on Sunday by raising various social issues in the Philippines, including the stalled peace talks between the government and the communist rebels and the violent war on drugs.
Those who participated in the protest march were members of Gabriela, United Filipinos (Unifil) in Hong Kong, Bayan Hongkong & Macau, and the Asian Migrants' Coordinating Body (AMCB).
Calling the demands of the communist group excessive, President Rodrigo Duterte early last month terminated the peace talks with the National Democratic Front (NDF), the political wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).
The government also accused the New People's Army (NPA), CPP's armed wing, of violating its own ceasefire by attacking soldiers.
Sunday's rallyists held a program in Chater Garden and then marched to the Philippine Consulate before proceeding to the Central Government Offices.
During the program, the OFWs called for the resumption of peace talks between the Duterte administration and communist rebels, and condemned the war on drugs and the proposed revival of the death penalty in the Philippines.
The OFWs believe a death penalty law would be anti-poor.
The issue on terminal fees was also raised.
Dolores Balladares-Pelaez, Unifil chairperson, said that while Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III has ordered airlines to stop collecting terminal fees from OFWs, they would wait and see if this would be implemented.
"Noong isang taon narinig na natin iyan pero tuloy pa din ang paniningil ng terminal fee," she said during the program in front of the consulate's building in Admiralty.
OFWs are exempted by law from paying terminal fees.
The groups also called for the scrapping of the overseas employment certificate (OEC).
Meanwhile, the AMCB urged the Hong Kong government to increase the wages of domestic workers, protection of health and safety, and improvement of the working condition of domestic helpers in the city particularly the regulation of working hours. —KBK, GMA News