Press Release
May 26, 2014

Villar urges review on policies of deployment abroad,
helps repatriation of 3 distressed OFWs

Senator Cynthia A. Villar on Monday called on all concerned government agencies, particularly the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DOLE), to review their policies in sending Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) abroad to guarantee their welfare and protection.

"The government should ensure the safety of Filipino workers through stricter implementation of deployment so that they will not fall preys to abusive employers," said Villar.

"We should also invoke diplomatic measures like the bilateral agreement with the Saudi government to ensure that our Filipino workers are being protected," she added.

The Senator issued the call in the wake of the repatriation of three OFWs who arrived in the country yesterday from Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The repatriated Filipino migrant workers are Angelina Gailo Molina, 49, of Zabarte Road, Caloocan City; Florabel Sangrador Zambo, 40, Miryamville Housing Project, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao and Noria Eyas Nor, 45, Isulan, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao. They all worked as domestic helpers.

They arrived at Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 at 11 a.m. and proceeded to Villar's Office at the Senate of the Philippines, Pasay City.

Villar, through the Villar SIPAG (Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation and Governance, paid for their plane ticket to be able to go home to the Philippines.

She also gave them cash financial assistance aside from the plane ticket back to their respective hometowns in the Mindanao region. The senator noted that our OFWs working as domestic helpers are more vulnerable to maltreatment and abuses because they stay 24/7 in the houses of their employers.

Moreover, nobody can see and witness abusive employers in case they subject their house helpers to verbal and physical abuses or even sexual abuses.

"For instance, one of our repatriated OFW, Noria Eyas Nor, was even jailed for four days when she sought the help of Saudi police after the 65-year old son of her employer attempted to rape her and threatened her last January 23, 2014. Finding the chance to escape due to fear, she absconded from her employer's house last April 24," said Villar.

While at the police station, Nor's employer arrived after being called by the Saudi police. She was forced to sign a document in Arabic.

When she refused, she was sent to jail and stayed there for four days. They also threatened to put in jail her husband, who was also working as caretaker in the same household.

Fortunately, she learned her husband is still safe and remains working with the same employer.

But she later received a handwritten letter from her husband, allegedly disowning and divorcing her as his wife. It was signed by her employers as witnesses.

Since the attempted rape, she was no longer able to communicate with her husband.

She reclaimed her remaining belongings, ransacked by her employer, through the help of PCG Jeddah.

In the case of Molina, in the first four months working as DH for an Indonesian national, she was already maltreated, kicked and verbally abused by her employer.

Also, she was given one meal a day. The kitchen was locked by her employer so she can't even find scraps of food to eat. Because of this, she asked her agency for a change of employer.

Molina was given to the father of her first employer wherein she had no complaints, except that her Indonesian co-worker, always fought with her.

Due to this, she opted to leave and asked help from the Philippine Consulate in order to be repatriated.

Zambo also ran away from her employer before any harm could happen to her after being accused of stealing and verbally abusing her and threatening her life.

These things all happened when she demanded for an increase in salary as promised by her Saudi employer.

Meanwhile, the senator also handed cash financial assistance to Restituto Napuran Baut, of Iligan Cuty, Lanao del Norte.

As per Ople Center, Baut has been sleeping in Luneta Park since he arrived in the country from Riyadh, KSA last May 21, 2014. He has no money to go home so the Villar Foundation also provided him plane ticket.

But finished his two-year contract as painter, but his employer refused to provide him with plane ticket home and extended his stay.

At that time, he was already being maltreated by his employer so he ran away and stayed at the post.

Because his exit visa will expire May 26, 2014, Villar SIPAG has started arranging his repatriation weeks before this deadline. However, it was learned he was repatriated last May 21, 2014.

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