MANILA - The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) will encourage domestic helpers in Hong Kong to get vaccinated against COVID-19 while hoping that the "mandatory" nature of the program won't result in anything "harsh," an official said Monday.
Health officials earlier announced plans to require all 370,000 domestic workers mostly from the Philippines and Indonesia to get vaccinated.
"We will of course calmly request our OFWs to have themselves inoculated but also to gently request or advise the Hong Kong authorities not to be so harsh on OFWs who are in a state of hesitancy or even unwillingness," OWWA administrator Hans Leo Cacdac told ANC.
Cacdac said the agency is hopeful that the measure, a prerogative of the host country, would not result in retrenchment, termination or deportation of OFWs who are still in a "state of hesitancy" or unwillingness.
Several groups over the weekend called Hong Kong's mandatory inoculation program for migrant workers "discriminatory and unjust."
Philippine Consul General to Hong Kong Raly Tejada earlier said the measure should apply to all foreign workers, not just for domestic workers, for it to be considered non-discriminatory.