Filipino domestic workers are set to protest the mandatory insurance being imposed on them by the Philippine government. According to United Filipinos in Hong Kong (UNIFIL-MIGRANTE-HK) chair Dolores Balladares, this new imposition is merely a money-making scheme.
‘The Philippine government has yet again thought up of a new way to extort from us through the mandatory insurance. They are not satisfied with all the fees they have been overcharging us and is desperate to collect some more at the expense of overseas Filipino workers,’ Balladares said.
Balladares relayed that officially, the mandatory insurance will be paid for by the employer per contract. ‘The insurance will be a burden to employers and is actually redundant as our employers already have purchased insurance for us. This makes the new insurance unneccessary.’
As such, Balladares remarked that such new scheme may create friction between employers and the domestic workers. In the end, it may most probably mean that the domestic workers will be the one to shoulder the payment as employers already paid for the insurance under Hong Kong policies.
“In truth, the Philippine government does not care who will finally pay for the insurance as its only concern now is how to accumulate the largest fund at the soonest possible time. With Philippine elections nearing, funds become a necessity that may come from the public coffers or contributions from businesses including companies that may benefit from this compulsory insurance. As usual, the convenient cash cows are the Filipino overseas workers whose vulnerability is exploited by the Philippines for its money-making schemes,” said Balladares.
To show opposition, the group will lead a protest march to the Philippine consulate on Sunday, January 27, at 2PM. They call on all OFWs and even employers who oppose the new fee to join the protest.
“Show our rage. We demand for the revocation of the mandatory insurance,” Balladares Pelaez ended.###