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Stranded Filipinos anxious about economic futures

Reports from both Macau and Manila highlight that Filipino workers are among the most anxious and vulnerable in regard to the economic and transportation disruptions caused by the Wuhan Coronavirus.

TDM Macau, for example, reported that their television station had “been receiving messages of Filipino workers trying to extend their concerns and complaints to the proper authorities.” Many of them were apparently unsure who they could turn to.

Some Filipinos are trapped in Macau and others in Manila, unsure if and when they will be able to return to their jobs.

After initially appearing reluctant to help the Philippines’ consul-general in Macau later announced that they created an online registry for request for assistance for workers affected by dismissals from their companies and other similar actions.

However, to some extent the consul-general seemed to be signaling that the amount of assistance forthcoming would be limited.

“We have to document all these requests,” she said, “We have to identify for example, this individual, this is his request. This is his problem and we have to like identify how much it will cost, for example, and request from Manila, or from the capital, the funds so we can do this. We cannot, like, for example, they’re requesting for financial assistance, what kind of financial assistance and why? And we need to really have approved that this person is needing financial assistance.”

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