OFW Jenny Rose Olicia Distressed OFW comes home with her talent as ticket

Date Posted: March 2nd, 2015 02:46 AM

Jenny Rose Olicia, 24, has a talent for sketching portraits. She used this talent to earn money while staying at the Migrant Workers and Other Filipino Resource Center at the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Abu Dhabi, one of the seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates, and its political capital. Olicia, a second-year college drop-out, was a domestic worker who only wanted to come home when her dreams of her earning good money for her daughter was shattered by an abusive employer. She ran away, and found shelter at the POLO where her being a portraitist got notice. In fact, it was her drawing and sketching talent that earned her a ticket back to the Philippines, in Bacoor, specifically, where her mother lives, taking care of her child. This was in November 2014 when Labor and Employment Secretary came to Abu Dhabi, the last stop of her official visits to Gulf Cooperation Council countries, namely, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia. “Nagpagawa sa akin ang POLO ng sketch portrait ni Secretary, nang malaman nila na darating siya. Ayun, ginawa ko po,” said Olicia when she visited the Labor Communications Office after she came home near the end of January this year. When Secretary Baldoz arrived at the POLO, she took particular notice of Olicia, especially after the latter gifted her with the sketch portrait. “Nagustuhan niya,” Olicia said. Indeed, Baldoz appreciated the gift and she talked to Olicia, who cried in sadness over her fate as a distressed OFW. She learned that Olicia had filed a case against her employer for non-payment of salary. “Gusto ko lang pong umuwi sa anak ko,” she tearfully confided. She also informed the Secreatry that even while being sheltered at the MWOFRC, she was able to send money to her family by selling her sketches. Baldoz took pity on her and promised to repatriate her. She also advised her not to work abroad anymore as a domestic worker. “Nag-abroad ako para sana mahango kami sa kahirapan. Gusto ko sanang mabigyan ng magandang kinabukasan ang anak ko. Iniwan ko ‘yong ibinigay na scholarship sa isang computer school para subukang mag-abroad pero minalas ako,” said Olicia. “Akala ko, masarap sa abroad. Mahirap pala, at kung hindi ka talaga handa sa pagtatrabaho, baka mas malaki pa ang kapalit na hirap sa iyo at sa iyong pamilya. ‘Yung employer ko, hindi ako binabayaran ng sweldo. Overworked na nga ako kasi ako ang nag-aasikaso ng lahat; bukod sa yaya ng tatlong bata, naglalaba, nagluluto, at naglilinis pa ako ng bahay.” Olicia narrated that her employer hired her as a nanny for his three children. There was another domestic from India who do other chores, but after three months, she left and went back home. Olicia was left alone to do all household work. “Nang umalis ‘yong kasama ko na domestic helper, kasi hindi na rin nasusuwelduhan, ako na lang ang nagtatrabaho lahat. Hanggang sa nagkasakit na nga ako,” she recalled. Lack of sleep and over fatigue took a toll on Olicia. She suffered from allergic rhinitis and severe chest pains, but even when she was ill, she still did heavy heavy household work. Her employer took her to a doctor, but after several visits to the clinic, her employer refused to shoulder the medical fees. Then the last straw came in September 2014. She decided to escape when her employer refused to pay her salary, which was already several months delayed. “Ganoon din kasi ang ginawa nila doon sa isang kasama kong domestic helper. Ilang buwan nilang pinag-initan at hindi binayaran ang suweldo, pagkatapos pinauwi nila. Kaya natakot din po ako,” she said. At the POLO, Labor Attache Ophelia Almenario assisted her in filing a case against her employer. On December 2014, she received a notice that she won the case. Shortly after, received her back wages. She was repatriated and arrived in the Philippines on 26 January. “Kung hindi kay Secretary Baldoz, baka natagalan ang pag-uwi ko,” Olicia confessed. “Kaya malaga malice ang pasasalamat ko sa kaniya, sa POLO, at sa lahat nang tumulong sa akin para ako makauwi. Shortly after she arrived in Manila, Olicia visited the office of the National Reintegration Centre for OFWs (NRCO) in Intramuros, Manila to avail of the P10,000 livelihood assistance for distressed OFWs. The assistance is in the form of a livelihood starter kit. She also availed of the benefit of free stress debriefing, counselling, financial literacy, and social preparation. The Labor Communications Office also referred her to the DOLE National Capital Region for possible short-term employment under the Government Internship Program (GIP) which will allow her to train for office work. “Kung mabibigyan ako ng pagkakataon, gusto kong mapakapag-aral at makapagtrabaho muli para sa kinabukasan ng aking anak,” she said. “Anuman yung naging karanasan ko sa pagtatrabaho sa abroad ay gusto ko nang kalimutan, kasi tapos na ‘yon. Masuwerte ako at natulungan ako na makabalik dito sa PIlipinas. May pagkakataon ako na makapag-bagong buhay kasama ang aking pamilya,” she finally said. End/celestemaring

Created Mar 11th 2015, 15:23


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