Binay hopes revocation of visa-free access not extended to OFWs

Vice President Jejomar C. Binay expressed hope that Hong Kong’s declaration that it will remove visa-free access for dignitaries and government officials from the Philippines will not eventually extend to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

“I hope not. That would be saddening, I tell you,” Binay told reporters recently.

The Vice President also said that he will reiterate his appeal to the Hong Kong government to reconsider their decision.

He added, however, that he lamented the fact that the decision was made in light of the Philippine government’s refusal to apologize for the Manila hostage crisis which killed eight Hong Kong tourists and wounded seven others in 2010.

Binay made his first appeal to Hong Kong authorities a week ago upon receiving news of the declaration that starting February 5, Filipino officials and diplomats will no longer be able to enter Hongkong without visa.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying had announced the “first phase of sanctions” against the Philippines, saying that the government would consider more in efforts to secure an apology from the Philippine government.

“It will definitely hurt our OFWs financially because they will need to pay for the visa. The payment will be deducted from the money they should be sending their families,” Binay said then.

The Vice President also hoped for an amicable settlement of the ongoing dispute.

Meanwhile, Binay said he will support the proposal that the Miss World pageant be held in the Philippines in November this year.

Miss World 2013 Megan Young presented the proposal to the vice president during her courtesy call at the Coconut Palace.

Binay said that if the pageant would be held in the country, it will help boost the country’s tourism industry.

Young and Miss World Events Director Steve Douglas, said the proposal to stage the finals in the country will be to help the rehabilitation of the victims of typhoon Yolanda.

Young added that the pageant would show the strength of the Filipino, as well as promoting tourism in the country.#