Many businesses across the city have set up cash giveaways so that Filipino domestic helpers, stranded in Hong Kong over the holidays thanks to a ticketing fiasco, will be able to get home for Christmas.
The Christmas travel plans of hundreds of Filipinos were thrown into disarray when their tickets – bought through Peya Travel – could not be confirmed. Peya Travel specialises in flights popular with Filipino domestic helpers.
TNG, an e-wallet local company popular among domestic helpers, will give away HK$500,000 by Sunday to help those affected pay for new flights back to the Philippines. Each helper will receive a gift of up to HK$1,000. The company said the money can be used to pay for flights. Existing users of the app will be able to withdraw the money as cash at 7-Eleven stores.
Cathay Pacific have confirmed they will try to help those affected, but declined to say how many tickets will be provided to those who will need them.
Philippine Airlines has said it will be using planes with a larger passenger capacity tomorrow and on Saturday to get more people out of Hong Kong in time for Christmas, as well as for returning flights on January 3 and 4 from Manila.
Roderico Atienza, the deputy consul general and acting head of post, told Young Post that the Philippines consulate is working hard to represent its citizens’ best interests.
“As of the end of Wednesday, 131 people lodged their case with the Philippines consulate general. We don’t know whether the Filipino domestic helpers will be reimbursed, but we have already contacted the police. We have also contacted the Travel Agents Registry, and the Travel Industry Council of Hong Kong to look further into the case,” said Atienza.
The consulate confirmed it had spoken to a co-owner of Peya Travel on Tuesday but that text messages sent on Wednesday have gone unanswered. The consulate has urged all affected customers to come to the mission in Admiralty to register their case. The domestic helpers should bring their Philippine passport or Hong Kong identity card, as well as a photocopy of their ticket or booking documents.