POLO-Hongkong, OWWA and POEA reach out to OFW Uychiat and her family

Date Posted: May 16th, 2014 01:04 AM


POLO-Hongkong, OWWA and POEA reach out to OFW Uychiat and her family Heeding the instruction of Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz to look into the case of abused OFW Rowena Uychiat, Philippine Labor Attache to Hong Kong Manuel Roldan yesterday reported that the Philippine Overseas Labor Office has met with Uychiat to discuss the abuse she suffered in the hands of her Hong Kong employer. In his report, Labor Attache Roldan said Welfare Officer Kris F. Furaque, together with Vice Consul Charles Andrei P. Macaspac and Assistance-to-Nationals Officer Hermogenes G. Cayabyab met with OFW Uychiat on 11 May at the Office of the Mission for Migrant Workers Ltd. (MFMW) to obtain more information about her plight. The MFMW is the charitable organization currently sheltering Uychiat. Ms. Edwina Aquino of the MFMW was present at the meeting. OFW Uychiat, a widow, has a 19-year old daughter Justine, currently taking up Criminology at Bago City College, and a 13-year old son, Ryan. In the Philippines, Overseas Workers’ Welfare Administration chief Carmelita Dimzon reported to the Secretary that the OWWA Regional Welfare Office No. 6 had met with Uychiat's family in Cadiz City and talked to the daughter who is staying in Bacolod City. "Our welfare officer in Bacolod advised Justine to contact the OWWA Regional Welfare Office in the event her mother communicates any problem she might be having," Dimzon said. At the meeting with POLO officials, OFW Uychiat narrated the circumstances that brought her to the MFMW. She said she has been working for her employer, Yiu Anna Hoi Yin, since 23 July 2013 without any rest day and statutory holidays, with her employer promising to pay her these days. Her employer confiscated her Hong Kong identity card, passport, and employment contract. "I was made to work for long hours which resulted to my taking my meals late, and I was made to sleep in the kitchen," she said. Uychiat alleged that her employer physically assaulted her for three months after she started working for her. "I would be hit, slapped, and my hair would be pulled even for simple mistakes," OFW Uychiat said. OFW Uychiat was with her employer at the Festival Mall sometime in November 2013 when a Filipina OFW noticed the bruises on her arm. The OFW briefed her on how to call 999, Hongkong’s emergency number. When Uychait's employer saw her talking to the OFW, she grabbed her mobile phone and twisted her left ear upon reaching home. On 16 December 2013, while Uychiat was listening to her male employer--who asked why she did not understand the instructions he gave her earlier while they were in the car--her employer hit her with a wooden stick on her legs and slapped her face. Her male employer did not stop the assault, and Uychiat sustained bruises all over. Sometime in February this year, Uychiat's female employer slapped her, then pushed her until she fell on the floor, and kicked her in the ribs, simply for the reason that she forgot to change her clothes. Then on 21 April, the employer hit both Uychiat and the employer's daughter who took two hours to finish her food. The following day, the employer hit her with a lint brush she found in an iron box. Uychait suffered a big bruise. On all occasion that her employer was assaulting her, OFW Uychiat did not file a police report out of fear of being arrested since she is not in possession of her Hongkong ID. This was also the reason why she was not able to see a doctor. Uychait saw an opportunity four days later. On 25 April, while her employer and family were in Macau, Uychiat went to the Sham Shui Po Police Station, accompanied by a distant relative, Liezl Mateo, another OFW. The police arranged for her to see a doctor at the Caritas Medical Center. It was OFW Mateo who brought her to the MFMW. On 1 May, Uychiat was able to take back her passport and employment contract from Gracious Employment Agency Ltd., the foreign recruitment agency (FRA) that deployed her to her Hong Kong employer, against which she filed a case on 27 April. Roldan said Uychiat had requested POLO-Hong Kong’s assistance for loan and livelihood for her mother and for the education of her children in the Philippines. "She also asked for help for the suspension of Gracious Employment Agency Ltd.’s accreditation as an FRA; for refund of her placement fee; and for assistance on her incidental expenses, such as the cost of visa extension which amounted to HK$160 (P899.94)," said Roldan. Welfare Officer Furaque explained to Uychiat that she can avail of the Balik Pinay-Balik Hanapbuhay” livelihood assistance of the National Reintegration Center for OFWs (NRCO) after she returns home. She also informed her that her 19-year old daughter can avail of the OWWA’s Skills for Employment Scholarship Program (SESP), while her 13-year old son will be included on the list of Tuloy Aral Program beneficiaries. Baldoz assured Uychiat's family that the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, in coordination with the POLO, will assist Uychait in the filing of a complaint against NAR Training and Management Service, the Philippine overseas placement agency which made her to pay P45,000 in placement fee, as well as against Nittan Capital Finance Incorporated with which Uychait contracted a P50,000 loan to pay for the placement fee. Baldoz also directed the POEA to file a case against a certain Ms. Joy of NAR Training and Management Service who deducted P5,000 from the loan proceeds allegedly as processing fee. "Upon request and proper documentation, we will give her HK$160 for the cost of her visa extension," Baldoz said. With regards the suspension of the accreditation of Gracious Employment Agency Ltd, Welfare Officer Furaque advised Uychiat to bring the matter to the POLO and Edwina Aquino of the MFMW promised to bring here there. “We are also conducting an investigation on the alleged withholding of Uychiat’s passport by the Hong Kong agency. We will submit other information and further developments on the case as soon as possible,” Labatt Roldan stated in his report. END/rhev

Created Aug 19th 2014, 11:21


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