No deployment ban to Hong Kong yet: Labor chief says amid fake news


Posted at Oct 20 2019 02:20 PM | Updated as of Oct 20 2019 02:21 PM

Anti-government protesters gather at the start of a protest march in Hong Kong's tourism district of Tsim Sha Tsui, China October 20, 2019. Umit Bektas, Reuters

MANILA - The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Sunday said it has yet to order a mandatory repatriation or deployment ban for Filipino workers in Hong Kong amid democracy protests.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has yet to raise the alert level that would warrant mandatory repatriation of Filipinos in Hong Kong.
“Right now there is no communication from the DFA and even from the consulate of Hong Kong regarding the possibility of repatriation, either voluntary or mandatory. We are in close coordination with the DFA for any development,” Bello said.

Bello made the remark amid the spread of misinformation on social media posts. He urged the public to solely rely on news advisories made by the agency and the Philippine consulate.
“I urge the public to ignore this fake news on the internet. For those spreading it, please stop and let us not aggravate the situation and endanger our OFWs (overseas Filipino workers). We should help our OFWs there by not giving them false news about [mandatory] repatriation,” he said.
The Philippine consulate, meantime, advised Filipinos to stay indoors if necessary and avoid wearing white and black shirts in the streets to prevent being mistaken as protesters.

The agency also urged Filipino tourists to reschedule their trips if possible.