DOLE orders probe of OFW abuse in Jeddah

The labor department has vowed to prosecute the employers, as well as run after the recruitment agencies who deceived some overseas Filipino jobseekers while one was allegedly raped by her agency representative in Jeddah.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III directed the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) to investigate the report submitted by the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) Jeddah Labor Attache Nasser Munder, as well as the involvement of some recruitment agencies.

In a report to Bello, Munder said four household service workers were forced to work for more than 10 hours in different households, and render another two hours of duty at the household of their employer. They were identified as Samra Musa Lidasan, Lyn Silongan Sali, Norhen Gayo Sarat, and Noraima Mamadra Bandara.

They hold legitimate Iqama, but were compelled to work as cleaners.

The four ran away from their employer and sought refuge at the Migrant Workers and Other Overseas Filipinos Resource Center (MWOFRC) in Jeddah on March 1, 2019.

Munder also reported an alleged rape case involving a 22-year old OFW only identified as ‘Saida’ by her agency representative on December 28, 2018.

The victim is staying at Bahay Kalinga while the case is being handled by the Assistance to Nationals Section of PCG Jeddah.

Both cases involved their Saudi Recruitment Agency (SRA) Madar Al Kharj Recruitment Agency, and Philippine Recruitment Agency (PRA) Iemploy Manpower Services Inc.

Munder has recommended the suspension and cancellation of the licenses of the concerned recruitment agencies.

Bello meantime directed the POEA to immediately report the developments and results of the investigation to authorize appropriate sanctions on both recruitment agencies.

The OFWs were also assured by the labor chief of the necessary assistance from POLO and POEA.

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