EMPLOYERS in Hong Kong who illegally terminated coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) positive Filipino workers will be blacklisted, said a Philippine envoy on Thursday.

Consul General Raly L. Tejada told reporters via Zoom that they will also coordinate with the Hong Kong (HK) government to ensure that these employers face charges for violating the Hong Kong’s employment ordinance, which disallows expulsion from work due to sickness. They can be fined up to HK$100,000.

 “We also issued a warning to employers not to do a similar act in the future because they will face charges if it so merits,” he said, noting that there were about 10 confirmed employers guilty of this act, and about five more who need further investigation. 

The job terminations, Mr. Tejada said, was mostly prompted by panic over the recent surge in coronavirus cases in the special administrative region of China. 

“The fear of the virus is probably the main driving force that made several unwanted actions happen last week,” he said. 

The envoy said some of the employers are willing to take the Filipino workers back.

He also assured that the Philippine government has extended assistance to all the affected Filipinos. 

Beginning Thursday, the Hong Kong government will implement a vaccine pass policy where all public places, such as shopping malls, supermarkets, and religious premises, will require proof of vaccination. All citizens, starting March 1, will be required to undergo mandatory COVID testing. 

Since the beginning of the surge in early Feb., Mr. Tejada said they have received 108 reports of COVID-related issues, with 77 involving Filipinos who were infected. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan