THE Philippines is monitoring the unrest in Hong Kong to see whether there’s a need to stop the deployment of Filipino workers there, Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III said yesterday.

Filipinos in Hong Kong, which has been gripped by a city-wide strike and three days of violent clashes with police, should avoid areas where there are protests, the Labor chief told reporters.

A Filipino worker was arrested in Hong Kong after he was accused of participating in a street protest, Mr. Bello said. “He claims he is not a participant. He was just a bystander.”

The semi-autonomous Chinese city has been rocked by unrest since early June, and authorities are struggling to contain demonstrations that have become more violent.

The protests were sparked by an extradition bill that would allow suspects to be sent to China for trial.