DOLE to probe abuse of OFWs

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has been ordered to investigate the alleged involvement of some employees of recruitment agencies in the rape of a 22-year-old Filipina worker in Jeddah and maltreatment of four others.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III directed the POEA to look into the report submitted by Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) Jeddah Labor Attaché Nasser Munder about the abuses committed against the five workers and the involvement of some recruitment agencies.

Based on Munder’s report, a 22-year-old worker, identified only as Saida, was raped by her agency representative on Dec. 28, 2018.

The victim is now staying at Bahay Kalinga while the case is being handled by the Assistance to Nationals Section of the Philippine consulate general in Jeddah.

Bello 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 house of their original employer.

They were identified as Samra Musa Lidasan, Lyn Silongan Sali, Norhen Gayo Sarat and Noraima Mamadra Bandara.

The four workers hold legitimate Iqama or residence permit but were forced to work as cleaners.

They escaped from their employer and sought refuge at the Migrant Workers and Other Overseas Filipinos Resource Center (MWOFRC) in Jeddah last March 1.

Bello said both cases involved their Saudi recruitment agency Madar Al Kharj and the Filipino recruitment agency Iemploy Manpower Services Inc.

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

Bello added he instructed the POEA to immediately report the developments and results of the investigation to authorize appropriate sanctions on both recruitment agencies.

He assured the abused workers they would be get assistance from POLO and POEA.




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