Some of the city’s tour guides claim they have been dismissed because of the new minimum wage law which will come into effect next month, according to a report by public broadcaster TDM. Wu Keng Kuong, president of the Travel Industry Council of Macau, said that as of today, approximately 200 tour guides have been dismissed due to the effect of the future minimum wage law. It was reported that, because the new law set the city’s minimum wage at 6,656 patacas, concerned companies felt they were under more financial pressure when paying the basic wage of a tour guide. According to Wu, during the past 12 months, tour guides, tourism bus drivers and outbound travel guides have received between 2,000 and 3,000 patacas in basic salary per month. Wu expects the tourism sector to dismiss approximately 1,000 people in the upcoming months. The same report cited another senior official within the tourism sector, Wu Wai Fong, president of the Macau Tourist Guide Association. According to Wu, 90% of tour guides are freelancers. She has not heard any news on dismissals related to the remaining 10%, who are contracted with a travel agency.
Lawmaker concerned over proposed locations for hazardous storage
Lawmaker Ng Kuok Cheong has once again written an interpellation to the local government asking about the proposed locations for the storage of hazardous items. In his interpellation, Ng asked questions regarding the locations of several proposed facilities, including a logistic station, fuel storage, and hazardous item storage. In Ng’s opinion, the government’s previous responses have not been certain on the proposed selection of these locations. The lawmaker urges the government to complete the plans for and design of the locations, as well as to arrange a construction schedule for these projects.
Completion of marine environment study expected in 2020
The Macau SAR government is planning to complete a study on Macau’s marine ecological environment, the city’s marine authority stated in a reply to lawmaker Sulu Sou’s interpellation. Previously, Sou asked about the multiple discoveries of deceased Indo-Pacific humpbacked dolphins along Macau’s coastal area. The Marine and Water Bureau said that the dead dolphins were believed to have died months before they were washed into Macau’s beach. The animal remains are normally heavily decayed, which makes it difficult to confirm their cause of death. The same department also explained that dolphins appearing near Macau’s waters normally do so because they socialize or hunt for food in this area, rather than because their habitat is in Macau’s waters.