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War declared on agencies

HONG KONG (Mabuhay) : Migrant workers have declared war on recruitment agencies over the charging of illegal fees.

A campaign that has been painstakingly built over a period of almost a year reached a climax on June 18, when 20 representatives of migrant workers, unions, community groups and employers were granted a three-hour hearing by the Manpower Panel of the Legislative Council (LegCo).

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Even inclusive policies have exclusion areas

HONG KONG (Mabuhay) : Three speakers from the Department of Labour gave a highly informative and enlightening presentation sponsored by the Philippine Consulate General to Hong Kong for leaders of Philippine communities in the city on the Hong Kong Workers Ordinance at the Lecture Hall of the Public Library in Causeway Bay on July 7.

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No placement fee may lead to rise in training costs

HONG KONG (Mabuhay) : In the middle of a war between migrant workers and recruitment agencies over the charging of placement fees, the Society of Hong Kong Accredited Recruiters of The Philippines (SHARP), an umbrella group of 52 agencies, has poured a bit of oil on troubled waters by signing a no placement fee agreement with the Department of Labour and Employment (DOLE).

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Time for a decent wage rise migrant groups say

HONG KONG (Mabuhay) : Over 500 people trooped to the offices of the Labour Department to lodge a petition for an increase in the salary of migrant domestic workers on June 16.

Organised by the Asian Migrants Coordinating Body, the rally claimed that for years the Hong Kong government has remained deaf to the clamour of migrants for a substantial wage increase.

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Call for action against cheating agencies

HONG KONG (Mabuhay) : “Tens of thousands of foreign domestic workers in Hong Kong, mostly from The Philippines and Indonesia, have fallen victim to the collection of exorbitant and illegal fees by employment agencies in the territory,” Rex Marlo Varona, a researcher from the Alliance of Progressive Labour in The Philippines told the second Annual General Meeting of the Progressive Labour Union of Domestic Workers—Hong Kong.

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Government official insults all migrants and most of Hong Kong in one breath

HONG KONG (Mabuhay) : In one breath, the deputy chairperson of the Panel on Security at the Legislative Council, James To Kun-sun, has managed to insult all migrant workers and most of the Hong Kong population.

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The money smart are healthy wealthy and wise

HONG KONG (Mabuhay) : “Those graduating today bring the total number since we began this project to over 400,” Edna Aquino said at a graduation ceremony for migrant workers studying financial literacy on May 19.

Held at the Sacred Heart Canossian College in Caine Road, the president of CARD-MRI Hong Kong noted that it is the fourth graduation from the introductory financial literacy courses run by her group since the Philippine micro-credit organisation began organising in Hong Kong.

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Work programmes separating families are morally wrong cardinal says

HONG KONG (Mabuhay) : “Yes, I think it is morally wrong,” the president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, Robert Cardinal Sarah, told Mabuhay, referring to the forced separation of families by migrant worker programmes like the one that brings domestic workers to Hong Kong.

Cardinal Sarah was in Hong Kong as the guest of Caritas as the keynote speaker at an international conference on relational poverty to mark its 60 years of service in the territory.

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Military can’t kick Taiwan around the way it bullies its own citizens

HONG KONG (Mabuhay) : The president of The Philippines, Noynoy Aquino, swallowed his pride and came good with an apology to the people of Taiwan on May 15 for the death of a crew member on a Taiwanese fishing vessel that was strafed by a Philippine Coast Guard patrol boat on May 9.

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Urban poor on cross in Miranda Plaza

MANILA (Agencies) : Groups representing the urban poor displayed their plight in the streets of Manila on March 27 in what has become an annual dramatised depiction of the passion of Christ.

Dubbed the Kalbaryo ng Maralita (Calvary of the Poor), they enacted the drama as they moved from Liwasang Bonifacio to Plaza Miranda outside Quiapo Church, with 40 people simulating the flogging of Christ at their head.