Manila offers loans to maids who return from HK

HONG KONG: The Philippine Government will offer loans to Filipino migrants who want to return home and start businesses because of a proposed tax on foreign maids working in Hong Kong, a Filipino union spokesman said yesterday.  

Philippine Foreign Secretary Blas Ople met union representatives here yesterday, after meeting Hong Kong political leader Tung Chee-hwa to lobby against the proposed tax on Friday. 

He failed to get any assurance from local officials it would not be imposed. 

Ople told the Filipino union representatives that maids affected by the proposal could go home and apply for a loan, said Connie Bragas-Regalado, chairwoman of the migrant workers' group United Filipinos in Hong Kong. 

Bragas-Regalado, however, was unimpressed. 

“This can't improve the conditions of the migrant workers because it's a loan. 

“We have to earn money to pay for the loan, so it's just giving false hope to us,'' Bragas-Regalado said. 

An estimated 153,00 Filipinos work as live-in maids here. – AP  


MANILA: A 43-year-old man was stabbed to death with a broken gin bottle by a friend in the Philippines after he jokingly asked for a gift during his birthday party, police said yesterday. 

The victim, Rick Eludo, had invited some friends for drinks at his home in the Manila suburban city of Paranaque on Friday to celebrate his birthday and Valentine's Day. 

Police said the victim also teased the suspect, identified as 33-year-old Marlon de Mariano, saying he looked like he was in mourning because he was wearing black. 

De Mariano got irked over the jokes, took a broken bottle of gin and stabbed the victim, saying: “Here's my gift to you.” – dpa 

  • Another perspective from The Philippine Daily Inquirer, a partner of Asia News Network. 

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