Filipino workers scammed in Hong Kong over airline tickets returns to the country

UNTV News   •   December 26, 2017   •   6885

MANILA, Philippines – Forty-one overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from Hong Kong have arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) at 2 in the afternoon, Monday.

They are among the Filipinos stranded in Hong Kong after they were sold with fake airline tickets by the PEYA Travel Agency.

According to Rowena Oliero, she previously booked for ticket with the said travel agency, that’s why she was surprised that she will be fooled by the same agency.

She bought the ticket for HK$1,500 or almost P13,000.

 

“I called Philippines Airlines and they said our tickets were “not issued.” They said [the agency] took our money but it was not remitted to Philippine Airlines,” said Oliero.

“I panicked and cried. I said to myself, ‘I won’t be able to come home, I have no more money to buy a ticket.'” she added.

The said OFWs were able to return home with the help of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), while the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) paid for their flights.

According to OWWA, thousands of OFWs have been victimized by the Peya Travels Agency.

Many of them were able to buy their own flight tickets.

The government vowed to hold the said travel agency liable, and will force it to pay back the money it took from its victims.

Lawyers of the Philippine Embassy in Hong Kong are now preparing the charges it will file against Peya travels.

“It will depend on the laws of Hong Kong, whatever the set-up our lawyers can fix there. But we should really go after this travel agency because they have already victimized too many Filipinos in Hong Kong,” OWWA Deputy Administrator Brigido Dulay said.

Aside from 41 OFWs, another batch of stranded Filipino workers in Hong Kong were also set to arrive Monday night.

They are also victims of the Peya Travel Agency. – Joan Nano | UNTV News & Rescue

DOLE eyes expanding HCW deployment cap to 10k

Marje Pelayo   •   June 16, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) eyes increasing the current deployment cap on healthcare workers (HCW) to 5,000 more and make it 10,000 per year.

“Naniniwala ako right now na we have enough number of nurses kaya I’m willing to recommend na itaas ang deployment cap from 5,000 to another 5,000,” said Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III in response to the request of HCW who wish to seek employment abroad.

Recently, the government has stopped the deployment of new medical workers abroad after the number reached the 5,000-limit.

Bello assured that should his recommendation be approved, the country would not come short of healthcare workers.

He stressed, however, that the decision still remains with the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF).

The Filipino Nurses United is pleased with the proposal as this would provide more opportunities for them to seek greener pastures abroad.

However, they still want the removal of the deployment cap and let all Filipino healthcare workers explore employment opportunities in other countries.

“Sa tingin po namin merong sapat in terms of number. Ang problema po ay yung paghikayat ng gobyerno na magtrabaho sila as nurses sa ating mga healthcare facilities,” said Jocelyn Andamo, Secretary-General of the Filipino Nurses United.

The group said there are still around 200,000 nurses in the country who work outside their profession and earn below what they deserve being professional nurses.

Since the deployment cap was imposed, around 4,000 nurses were not able to process their documents for employment abroad. -MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

Duterte orders Cebu to follow IATF’s COVID-19 testing, quarantine protocols for returning Filipinos

Robie de Guzman   •   June 14, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has directed the provincial government of Cebu to adhere to the COVID-19 testing and quarantine protocols set by the national government for returning overseas Filipinos, Malacañang said Monday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made the announcement after the memorandum from Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea on the diversion of Cebu-bound flights to Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) lapsed on June 12.

“From the Office of the Executive Secretary, the President has decided that the IATF protocols must be implemented by the Cebu province,” Roque said during his regular online briefing.

“The President has also considered the DOH critique and has decided that Cebu province must abide by IATF arrival protocols,” he added.

Cebu had been administering RT-PCR tests on returning nationals upon their arrival at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport.

This is contrary to the IATF protocols, which require arriving Filipinos to undergo quarantine in a government-accredited facility for 10 days and take an RT-PCR test on the seventh day of their arrival.

“The last extension was just a preparation for full implementation of that decision,” Roque said, pertaining to Medialdea’s order to extend the diversion of flights bound for Cebu to NAIA, which was in effect from June 5 to 12.

Roque, however, leaves to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) the decision on what measure to take should Cebu continue to defy the national government’s protocol.

Duterte earlier met with Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia to discuss quarantine protocols.

Palace extends diversion of Cebu-bound int’l flights to NAIA until June 12

Robie de Guzman   •   June 8, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The diversion to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) of international flights bound for the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) will be extended to June 12, Malacañang announced on Tuesday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the office of Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea has issued a memo extending the flight diversion “until 23:59 hours of June 12.”

 Roque said this is to provide ample time for authorities to thresh out Cebu Province’s COVID-19 protocols for returning Filipinos, which differs from the directives issued by the national government.

International flights for MCIA were initially redirected to NAIA from May 29 to June 5.

“Ito po’y para maayos yung pag-implement ng IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force) arrival protocol sa Cebu,” Roque said in a media briefing.

The Cebu government requires passengers to undergo a test upon arrival at the airport while the IATF requires screening of passengers on the 7th day of their quarantine.

President Rodrigo Duterte last week met with Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia to discuss this difference.

Roque expects the Cebu government to comply with the specific protocols mandated by the IATF after the flight diversion period ends.

“Upon resumption of flights to Mactan-Cebu International Airport, the travel and testing protocols approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Infectious Diseases will be fully and seamlessly implemented,” Roque said, reading from the memo.

“Inaasahan po natin that on the 13th of June, the IATF protocols on arriving OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) and OFs (overseas Filipinos) will be implemented in Cebu. Yan po ay according to the memorandum issued by the executive secretary dated 5 of June 2021,” he said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

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