Palace: Comment on Filipina maids in HK ‘unfair, insulting’

MANILA, Philippines – Filipino domestic workers are "noble" employees – far from the "home wreckers" that a Hong Kong politician has unfairly portrayed them to be, Malacañang said on Wednesday, April 22.

Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda came to the defense of Filipina domestic workers in Hong Kong as he slammed the comments made by senior Hong Kong politician Regina Ip, who characterized the workers as marriage wreckers.

“Obviously, that’s not true. Obviously, the Filipinos who are working there are doing a very noble job of providing and taking care of their little ones,” Lacierda said in a news briefing.

He added, “And I think that lawmaker, by using just one example, and to conclude that Filipino domestic workers are all home wreckers is certainly fallacious. It’s certainly unfair to the many, many Filipinas who have given up their own personal lives, given up their own family lives here in the Philippines to serve and help the families of others.”

In an editorial, Ip wrote, "I have received complaints from expatriate women...that Filipina domestic helpers seduce their husbands." Ip said she learned of "families wrecked because of relationships between Filipina maids and male employers."

Like the Philippine consulate in Hong Kong, Lacierda expressed confidence that the general public opinion in Hong Kong is not similar to Ip’s, and hoped Ip would be more careful with generalizations in the future.

“I am certain that many Hong Kong Chinese do not agree with that conclusion. That is a very unfair conclusion to a service that is being rendered by thousands and thousands of Filipino workers in Hong Kong,” he said.

He added: “And I do hope that the lawmaker would realize that it should not engage inductive reasoning especially in a situation where only one anecdotal experience was recounted and immediately conclude that Filipinos are home wreckers. That is a very unfair conclusion.”

Lacierda said he did not know if the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) would undertake any actions against Ip, but voiced support for the domestic workers in Hong Kong who have said they will sue Ip or protest in the streets if she does not apologize. 

“It is but natural for our Filipino workers who labor day in, day out, in season and out of season, to help the families of the Hong Kong Chinese. It certainly gives them justification to feel aggrieved; to feel insulted,” he said.

Ip has refused to apologize saying blaming an assistant for the wrong choice of headline, adding the resulting protests is "a big fuss out of a small issue.” –