Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 4) The Philippines welcomed Hong Kong’s decision to suspend and revise its plan to mandate all domestic foreign workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19, as politics drew criticism for the alleged discrimination.
At a news conference Tuesday, President Harry Roque’s spokesman said Malacaang “appreciates the gesture” of Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam, who urged the country’s chief labor officer to review the policy. This came after objections from groups of workers and Philippine officials, among others, who questioned why only its 370,000 foreign aid workers to the country, a significant portion of whom are Filipinos are forced to take the shots.
On Monday, the Palace said it supports Secretary of State Theodoro Locsin Jr.’s statement that compulsory vaccination should cover all foreign workers. Consul General of the Philippines in Hong Kong Raly Tejada has made the same call.
“It has to be done in a way that everyone is covered. There will be no isolation [It must be done in a manner that all persons are covered by the policy. There shouldn’t be any singling out], “Roque had said.
Locsin, meanwhile, thanked Hong Kong for halting the plan, which he had previously said “smells of discrimination” despite the positive effect it may have on public health and safety.
“I’m so proud to know how to keep track. Her responses are always quick but smart. Hong Kong ‘s best leader since China lost the island in the Opium War. Thank you, Madam,” Locsin said in a statement. tweet, commenting on a news article on Lam’s decision.
The Hong Kong government has also demanded that all domestic workers be tested for COVID-19 by May 9 – another controversial order denounced by rights groups as discriminatory. However, Roque said Malacaang has no problem with this policy.
“Of course, we also welcome mandatory testing. In fact, we are also increasing our testing here in the Philippines because really if you are not the youngest, I do not know where our opponent is. [it is true that if you don’t test people, you won’t know where the enemy is], “he said.
Hong Kong media reported that thousands of domestic helpers have lined up on their supposed days off to complete the required testing by the May 9 deadline. Violators of the policy can be fined or imprisoned.
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