MANILA - Some Filipinos in Hong Kong won't be coming home in time for Christmas this year after their travel agency allegedly failed to secure confirmed bookings and tickets.
"Nakakaiyak eh..mga anak ko nag-iiyak," said Vicky Delino, a household service worker in Hong Kong.
Delino said she tapped the services of PEYA Travel to book her flight home last July.
She was supposed to fly home Tuesday but the agency did not pay her confirmed booking at Cathay Pacific.
"Flight ko na pero wala name ko sa flight na nakalagay Cathay po," the OFW who has been working in Hong Kong for three years now said.
The travel agency, Delino said, sent her a text message apologizing on why there were no flights Tuesday, citing system failure.
While other OFWs managed to get other available flights home with added costs, Delino said she has no choice but to stay in Hong Kong.
"Wala na akong perang pambili ng ticket," she said.
Marion Antoin Alexis, another OFW in Hong Kong, has the same dilemma.
"My flight will be tonight but suddenly hindi ako makauwi kasi according to PAL Pinas, hindi daw nagbayad ang PEYA Travel sa deadline na ibinigay kaya ganun ang nangyari," she Alexis said.
Alexis said she bought her ticket with the travel agency last September 17.
"Pero nagulat ako kasi nga hindi na book ang ticket even reservations," she said. Now, Alexis is waiting for her employer's call when they reach Hawaii.
She said they were not given refund for the cancelled flights.
"Wala talaga kahit ang refund di rin ibinigay. Ang sabi, balik-balikan every days off," she explained.
PEYA Travel, on its Facebook page, apologized for the inconvenience this caused their clients. It claimed responsibility over the blunder and promised to resolve the matter.
Cathay Pacific Hong Kong meanwhile said it was "ready to help," and will offer options for Filipino workers.
"We understand how important Christmas is to our Filipino friends and we stand ready to help. While our flights to Manila during the holidays are already quite full, we invite affected passengers to contact our global call centre at 2747 3333 or through private message on Facebook or Twitter (@cathaypacific)," the airline said.
The Philippine Consulate General in Hong Kong said it was concerned over the incident and urged the public to not transact with PEYA Travel until the issue is resolved.
"We further urge the complainants to maintain sobriety and calmly liaise with PEYA Travel in order to secure a new flight booking, or avail of refund," the consulate said.
It said it was expecting PEYA Travel to take responsibility and take possible steps to resolve the matter.
"The public can rest assured that the Consulate will continue to monitor this situation and liaise with relevant government authorities to ensure that the administrative liabilities of PEYA Travel with respect to these incidents are duly imposed," it added.
Delino said they will seek the advice of the consulate on Thursday.
"Sana mabalik na lang yung pera na pinaghirapan namin. Kaya po kami nag-book ng maaga para makamura sana," she said.