Labor justice eludes abused OFW as suspended agency that deployed her restrains POEA

Date Posted: March 26th, 2014 06:05 AM


Labor justice eludes abused OFW as suspended agency that deployed her restrains POEA Remember Melody Polintang-De Jesus, the OFW who suffered abuse in the hands of her female employer in Jeddah? Well, it may take a little more time for Polintang-De Jesus to obtain labor justice after a regional trial court in Mandaluyong City last week temporarily stopped the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration from enforcing its order on 21 February preventively suspending the license of Mayon International Trading Corporation, the overseas recruitment agency that deployed OFW Polintang-de Jesus to her abusive employer in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. A report of POEA Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac said Judge Ofelia Calo of RTC Branch 211 in Mandaluyong City had granted the petition for injunction/temporary restraining order filed by Mayon International Trading Corporation. The TRO was issued on 6 March 2014 against the order of preventive suspension, or OPS, issued by the POEA in Case No. RV140200284. The case arose when OFW De Jesus ran away on 9 January 2014 to the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Jeddah from her employer, Fawas Abdulrahman Abdulsalam Sultan (who has since been charged by the POEA in a disciplinary action case), with a fresh wound on her lower right leg, and with traces of burn scars on both her upper arms and left lower extremities as a result of the harm inflicted by her female employer. Apparently, the employer used a flat iron to attack Polintang-De Jesus. The OFW said that in her six months' stay with her employer, there were eight or more instances when the latter burned her skin using a flat iron. The first was during the third day of her work when she was seen crying after she was not allowed to call her family to inform her of her safe arrival in Jeddah. The second time was when her employer got mad after seeing trace of old milk in the feeding bottle she just cleaned. Furthermore, other instances of burning her skin were done without any reason and include slapping her face and pulling her hair. She said she did not receive the right compensation provided in her employment contract, and was deployed in harsh working conditions. POLO-Jeddah Assistant Labor Attache Oliva B. Macawili said De Jesus was deployed by Mayon International Trading Corporation and Saudi Recruitment Agency (SRA) Snood Manpower Employment Office in July 2013 to work as a domestic helper under the sponsorship of Fawas Abdulrahman Abdulsalam Sultan. Administrator Cacdac immediately placed Mayon International Trading Corporation under preventive suspension, and Snood Manpower Employment Office blacklisted. The employer, on the other hand, is now facing criminal charges in a Saudi prosecutor's office. "What makes this case revolting is that OFW De Jesus’ husband, Dandi De Jesus, went to Mayon International Trading Corporation three times to seek help, but failed," said Baldoz. OFW Polintang-De Jesus was supposed to receive 8,800 Saudi riyal as payment for her five months' and 26 days’ work, but only received 3,000 Saudi riyal. She was also required to work at the house of the female sponsor’s mother from 5:00 P.M. until 2:30 A.M. “These are clear violations of the provisions of the Standard Employment Contract entered into by the employer and the employee,” Baldoz said, referring to the document and its provisions was agreed upon both by the Saudi and Philippine governments last year. The standard employment contract contains 19 articles that spell out clear and specific provisions on the employment of the Filipino HSWs. Among the articles in the SEC that OFW De Jesus’ employer violated were the provisions on the basic monthly salary; work hours; just and humane manner treatment of the HSW and the special provision that the HSW shall work solely for the employer and his immediate household, where, the employer shall, in no case, require the worker to work in another residence. Baldoz ordered Administrator Cacdac to continue monitor developments about the case, even as she strongly reminded licensed Philippine recruitment agencies (PRAs) that they should exercise utmost responsibility in ensuring that the rights and welfare of all OFWs they send to a foreign country are respected and well-taken care of. She also warned them and their foreign counterparts or principals that the government will not take lightly, but act swiftly, on cases of abuse and violation of rights in coordination with and in accordance with the laws of host governments. END

Created Aug 19th 2014, 09:31


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