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Archival asks OWWA’s help for Cebuana workers

By: Marc Eric Cosep December 03,2015 - 02:07 AM

CEBU City Councilor Nestor Archival called on the city government to help three Cebuana overseas workers who suffered abuse  in Saudi Arabia.

In a privilege speech during yesterday’s session, Archival said the city government should investigate whether the Jones International Agency which sent the two workers to Saudi Arabia is legitimate.

Archival also asked the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) of Riyadh and the Philippine Embassy in Saudi Arabia to help the two Cebuana overseas workers.

Archival said one of these workers who requested anonymity went to his office to seek help.

“She said the agency promised to protect her through their partnering agency in Saudi Arabia and POLO,” he said.

But the woman, a Cebu city resident,  said the agency failed to meet its promise and she was forced to work from 5 a.m. to dawn the next day. She also said she was only allowed to eat once a day.

When she called the agency for help, she was told to wait since she was still under probation.

Archival said the worker was  transferred to a new employer whose husband molested her.

When she was finally rescued, she was sent to the agency’s main office in Manila where she signed a walk-in settlement paper.  Feeling deceived, she  called the agency and reminded them of their agreement that she  be paid the remaining months of her two-year contract if she discontinued due to maltreatment. But the agency told her not to bother them anymore and instead be thankful that she survived the ordeal.

Archival said a second OFW from barangay Sinsin in Cebu City, is asking for help to return home.

He  mentioned  a third OFW from  Madridejos town in Cebu, who was allegedly passed from one employer to another and was gang-raped at one point.

“Their stories are among the many shared by OFWs who went through the same plight, Archival said.

The council will hold a hearing with the regional offices of OWWA, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to discuss these cases.

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