POLO-Riyadh suspends Saudi recruitment agency; to pursue case for abused OFW

Date Posted: May 20th, 2014 01:32 AM

POLO-Riyadh suspends Saudi recruitment agency; to pursue case for abused OFW Urgently acting on a report about an overseas Filipino worker who suffered physical abuse at the hands of her employer, the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh, through its Assistance to Nationals Section (ANS) and the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO), has wasted no time to immediately pursue necessary action on the case of OFW Pahima Alagasi Palacasi. In a report to Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz, Labor Attache to Riyadh Rustico Dela Fuente said the POLO has summoned the Saudi recruitment agency (SRA) that recruited Palacasi and promptly placed it on documentary suspension, which prevents it from recruiting any more workers from the Philippines. "Ambassador Ezzedin Tago had given instructions to ANS and the POLO to jointly look into the case of OFW Palacasi, a 23-year old female household service worker from Malapaan, Pikit, Cotabato, after photos of her wounds went viral in social media over the weekend," said Dela Fuente in his report. "OFW Palacasi is determined to file a case against the employer. The Embassy and the POLO will assist her," he added. Secretary Baldoz immediately instructed the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), and the National Reintegration Center for OFWs to coordinate with the POLO in looking into this case and assist the OFW and her family. "Even if Palacasi is not an OWWA member, she can avail of a livelihood assistance under the Balik-Pinay, Balik-Hanapbuhay when and if she decides to come home," explained Baldoz. The Balik-Pinay, Balik-Hanapbuhayis one of the income augmentation components of the National Reintegration Program for OFWs that provides economic opportunities through skills training and livelihood starter kits. According to Dela Fuente, OFW Palacasi arrived in Riyadh last March 2014. She was deployed by A-M Philippine Professional Services Corporation, a Philippine recruitment agency, to its SRA, Al Motkasess Recruitment Office. A few days after she arrived at the house of her employer, whom Palacasi identified as Adil Akmad Badjuid, she complained of homesickness and constantly cried. She alleged she was constantly kicked and lashed by her male employer. Because of her homesickness, her employer brought her back to the SRA. She did not report her alleged maltreatment to the SRA for fear of further complicating her situation. When she came back from the SRA, she was transferred to the house of her employer’s mother because the wife of her employer refused to accept her. At about 12:00 P.M. on 4 May 2014, her sponsor's mother poured boiled water over Palacasi due to a simple misunderstanding--her sponsor’s mother didn't speak English. As a result, OFW Palacasi was taken to a hospital for treatment of the wounds she sustained. She returned home same day. Over the ensuing days, she was brought back to the same hospital for care and redressing of the wound. She was able to escape from the hospital on 11 May and went to the house of her cousin. On the 13th of May, the employer reported to the SRA that OFW Palacasi ran away while undergoing treatment. It was on the 17th when the cousin posted photos of her scalded wounds on the social networking site, Facebook. By morning of 18 May, after receiving instructions from Ambassador Ezzedin Tago, personnel from the Philippine Embassy ANS fetched OFW Palacasi from the residence of her relative and brought her to the Shumaisy Hospital for fresh dressing for her wounds and for medication. After clearance from the hospital, OFW Palacasi was provided counselling by the Social Welfare Attache from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and was taken to the Bahay Kalinga, where she is currently staying. “She is stable, in high spirits, and is relating well with fellow OFWs at the Bahay Kalinga. She would be calling her relatives tomorrow,” Labatt Dela Fuented stated in his report. Baldoz assured that the DOLE will monitor the case and will ensure that OFW Palacasi’s welfare is taken care of. End/rhev

Created Aug 19th 2014, 11:23


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