MANILA, Philippines --- "Unfortunate."
This was how Vice President Jejomar C. Binay described the decision of the Hong Kong court barring two Filipino domestic workers from acquiring permanent residency.
"It is an unfortunate decision. While we respect the ruling of the Hong Kong court, we feel that it goes against universal recognition of the rights of migrant workers as enshrined in United Nations Conventions," said Binay, presidential adviser on overseas Filipino workers' (OFWs) concerns.
The Vice President said the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families recognizes relevant conventions of the International Labor Organization (ILO) for migrant workers, including promotion of equal opportunity.
"The UN Convention covers all migrant workers, including domestic workers, and emphasizes the need to protect their welfare and promote equal opportunity. Hong Kong's basic law does not exclude domestic
workers are barred from applying for residency if they so desire," he added.
In a unanimous 5-0 ruling, the Court of Final Appeal denied Monday the petition of OFWs Evangeline Vallejos and Daniel Domingo for permanent residency. The court sided with the Hong Kong government's
position that domestic helpers are not the same as other foreign residents.
The Vice President vowed to ensure the continued protection of the rights and welfare of all OFWs.
"We will continue to ensure that our domestic workers and all other OFWs are treated humanely and have access to decent work conditions, as provided for in UN Conventions," he said.