Domestic workers gather in Central, Hong Kong. Photo: iStock

At least 1,200 Filipinos who want to go to Hong Kong as domestic workers have been affected by the Philippine government’s order last month to suspend the processing of its citizens’ Overseas Employment Certificates (OECs).

Jalilo Dela Torre, labor attaché at the Philippine Consulate in Hong Kong, revealed that during the 15-day suspension period, about 1,200 applications had accumulated in Hong Kong, Oriental Daily reported.

Worldwide, there is a backlog of 75,000 applications, the labor chief said, adding that it would take some time to clear all the cases.

He said it was hard to predict when the affected Filipino workers could arrive in Hong Kong, as the Christmas holidays are approaching and it is always difficult to get an air ticket during the festive time.

Cheung Kit-man, chairman of the Hong Kong Employment Agencies Association, predicted that the domestic workers would be able to come to Hong Kong after New Year’s.

The Philippine government suspended the processing of OECs on November 13 so it could investigate illegal recruitment practices. It is understood that the relevant departments are still conducting the probe.

Read: Manila suspends processing of maids’ work certificates