MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Consulate General’s office in Hong Kong on Wednesday (August 14) advised Filipinos working and living there to avoid protest areas amid the escalating public unrest in the country.
According to its social media post, the Consulate General informed the Filipino community in Hong Kong of the following schedule of protests in the coming days:
August 14 (Wednesday) – Sham Shui Po area
August 15 (Thursday) – Wan Chai Taxation Office
August 17 (Saturday) – Chater Garden, Central to Central Government Offices, Admiralty; Hung Hom Pier to Sung Wong Toi Garden, Kowloon
August 18 (Sunday) – Victoria Park, Causeway Bay to Chater Road, Central
August 19 (Monday) – “Clean up MTR carriages”
August 25 (Sunday) – Kwan Tiang Theatre, Kwai Chung to Tsuen Wan Park
In line with this, the Consulate office also reminds Filipinos to refrain from wearing black and white as these are colors associated with the parties involved in the demonstrations.
Consulate officials also encourage Filipinos to immediately contact the Consulate’s hotline numbers in case of emergency related to the protest actions.
Hong Kong International Airport on Wednesday resumed operations after flight disruptions over the past two days amid protest actions in the Chinese-controlled city.
Check-in counters reopened to queues of hundreds of stranded passengers who waited overnight for their flights.
About 200 flights in and out of Hong Kong were cancelled since demonstrators stormed the airport on Sunday as part of the months-long demonstrations by pro-democracy activists in an attempt to topple the China-leaning government of Chief Executive Carrie Lam. – MNP
MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang has advised Filipinos to refrain from travelling to Hong Kong for now as the ongoing demonstrations have crippled operations in the international airport there.
“Ang travel ban siguro with respect kung gusto mo pumunta sa (The travel ban perhaps is with respect to your choice to travel to Hong Kong.) This is not the right time to go there kasi ang flight mo biglang naka-cancel, (as your flight might suddenly get cancelled,)” Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said during a press briefing Tuesday (August 13).
Thousands of protesters swarmed Hong Kong International Airport’s main terminal on Monday (August 12) which led to cancellations of hundreds of outbound and inbound flights to and from the autonomous territory.
“Avoid muna going there, that’s the advice (because) you’re not sure you’re going to reach Hong Kong in the first place,” Panelo added.
When asked about a proposed ban on deployment of workers to Hong Kong, the Palace spokesperson said there is no need to declare such prohibition citing Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III since the protest movements as limited only to specific areas in Hong Kong.
“Nagkakagulo sa airport. Limited naman ang gulo sa airport, (The chaos is in the airport and it’s limited only within the airport,)” he said.
On Tuesday, Hong Kong’s Airport Authority said in a statement that terminal operations at the airport “have been seriously disrupted, and all check-in processes have now been suspended.”
“Members of the public are advised not to come to the airport. All passengers are advised to leave the terminal buildings as soon as possible,” the statement said.
Despite the heavy rain, the licensing center of the Land Transportation Authority (LTO) in East Avenue, Quezon City is full of applicants.
One of the applicants, Matthew Almond Ente is about to start his part-time job at a transport network vehicle (TNVS) company.
“Syempre para matulungan sina erpats magda-drive medyo may edad na so syempre kailangan marunong ka na ring mag-drive para mahatid mo sila for errands and stuff (Of course to help my father to drive, he is already old. I also have to know how to drive to take them for errands and stuff),” he said.
According to LTO, there has been an increase in the number of applicants in the past years.
From over 1.8 million student permits issued in 2016, it went up to around 2.4 million in 2018.
TOTAL NUMBER OF STUDENT PERMITS ISSUED:
2016 – 1,849,942
2017 – 2,106,099
2018 – 2,413,184
As of June 2019, over 1.2 million have applied for a driver’s license.
There is also an increase in the number of registered motorcycles for 2018. From more than 1.5 million registered in 2016, it went up to 2.4 million, according to LTO.
BRAND NEW MOTORCYCLE REGISTERED
2016 – 1,572,322
2017 – 2,006,954
2018 – 2,427,460
Jerlo Kevin Rialp, is a motorcycle taxi driver. He said he will use his earnings for his education.
“Sa pag-aaral ko sa eskwelahan ng law school mahigpit po kasi iyong oras so kung mag-work ako ng regular na trabaho mahihirapan ako sa pagaaral ko. Nasu-sustain mga expenses ko sa eskwelahan (It is to pay for my law school. I can’t work full time because I have to study as well),” he said.
According to Bert Suansing of the Automobile Association of the Philippines, the increase in registered motorcycles might be attributed to the severe traffic in Metro Manila.
He also said the increase in driver’s license applicants might also be due to the prevalence of ride-hailing apps in the country.
“Kasi marami ang gusto na pagmamaneho ang hanap-buhay nila so kailangan nila ng driver’s license. Iyong TNVS, iyong Angkas kasama iyan sa equation (A lot of people want to drive for a living so they need a driver’s license. TNVS like Angkas, they are part of the equation),” he said.—AAC (with reports from Mon Jocson)
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