If you are a Filipino domestic helper working in Hong Kong, you would be delighted to know that your rights and interests are protected by Philippines Overseas Labor Office (POLO Hong Kong). It acts as the operating arm of DOLE- Department of Labor and Employment to ensure that the Philippine labor programs are implemented and that the welfare of Filipinos likes you working overseas are looked into. In Hong Kong, the administration of POLO is in the hands of Philippine Consul General.
Functions of POLO
- Protection of rights and promotion of the welfare of migrant workers from Philippines. Assistance is also provided when problems arise in employer- employee affiliation.
- Promote the department’s employment program that is consistent with the Government policy.
- Verification of employment contracts and other documents related to employment.
- Keep a check on the host country situations and policies that may have an impact on Filipino workers and report it to the Home Office.
- Co-ordination of the operations of Filipino workers.
- Aid in community development and actively take part in socio-cultural events arranged by the Government of Philippines and host country.
POLO provides a number of services for domestic helpers working in Hong Kong.
Re-contracts and Transfers
If you are a Filipino worker and will be finishing your employment contract and still staying in Hong Kong, you can submit an application for renewal of contract to POLO. Your employer is also entitled to do.
What are the documents required?
- 4 sets of the new contract- Original. It should be with the same number series.
- Current contract copy
- Passport copy, OFW picture page should be shown.
- Visa copy
- Employer’s Hong Kong ID copy
- Your Hong Kong ID copy
- If your contract is prematurely terminated due to your employer’s death, transfer to another country, redundancy or financial incapacity, a copy of worker’s ID 522 will be issued by the Department of Immigration.
You can submit the documents to POLO office, 18th Floor, Mass Mutual Tower, 33 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai, and Hong Kong.
When do you file for renewal?
You have to file 2 months prior to the expiration of your visa.
How much do you need to pay? Total fees =HKD 476.00 – This includes:
- OWWA membership- HKD 196.00
- Verification fee -HKD 80.00
- Authentication fee -HKD 200.00
While you are required to pay OWWA membership fee and verification fee at POLO office, Philippine Consulate General will be accepting the Authentication fee.
If your application is complete and does not show up any deficiencies, you can expect the authenticated contracts to be released in 6 working days upon submitting the required documents. Then pick your verified contracts! Once you pay the authentication fee to the PCG on the specified release date, proceed to collect your contracts, present HK ID, Official Receipt of verification, OWWA receipt of membership and the control slip. The authenticated contract need to be submitted to the Department of Immigration for processing of work visa.
POLO Hong Kong Services
1. Welfare Services
If you are in need of counseling, medical assistance, representation, temporary shelter and repatriation aid, POLO is there for you.
2. Case Management
If you have a problem with your placement agency/ employer, you can always request POLO for help.
3. Employment Documents Verification
This ensures that your employment rights and benefits are protected. It also sees to it that your employment contract is consistent with the employment standards in Hong Kong and Philippines.
4. OEC issuance
POLO HK issues Overseas Employment Certificate if you are a worker on leave. This will act as exit clearance and exempts you from paying terminal fee at the airport and travel tax.
5. OWWA membership issuance
This entitles you to enjoy OWWA benefits while ensuring your welfare.
6. Builds Your Capacity
To enhance your skills, POLO Hong Kong conducts numerous trainings such as computer literacy, Entrepreneurship development, financial literacy, Personality development, skill development, livelihood and language training. POLO also co-ordinates with professional groups and communities for your training to aid your professional enhancement.
7. Orientation Seminar
POLO conducts Orientation seminar for you, post arrival, that concentrates on the culture of Hong Kong. You will be made familiar with the laws and regulations with respect to foreign domestic helpers and the potential problems you may encounter with your employer. In addition, POLO Hong Kong will help you on how to get on with your work while avoiding conflicts. You will get to know the services available to make use of and the offices where you may seek assistance while staying in Hong Kong.
48 percent of foreign domestic helpers in Hong Kong are from Philippines. This organization has been striving hard to see that you are not abused and your rights are protected at the worksite while also taking care to make your employment contract adhere to the laws of the host country. All efforts are being made to make you comfortable on arrival besides making you accustomed to the culture of the new place. POLO does its best to prevent conflicts by counseling you and if need be, looks at complaints against your employer to make sure you are not taken for granted.
You, as a domestic helper from Philippines, are best advised to avail the services provided by POLO HK to make your work life in Hong Kong pleasant. If you are seeking help whenever you need, POLO Hong Kong will be glad to help you!