Sister of maltreated OFW assails PCG, OWWA for negligence

A SISTER of an abused OFW-domestic helper, who  work  in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on Tuesday  deplored the Philippine Consulate General (PCG) and an Overseas Workers Welfare official  for their failure to provide assistance to her abused OFW sister.

Ma. Theresa Lobete, of legal age, from Banlic, Cabuyao, Laguna, a Dubai-based OFW sent an electronic mail to Migrante-United Arab Emirates Secretary-General Nhel Morona claiming that she sought assistance from the PH embassy and OWWA since 2009 but no action has been taken by the concerned government agencies.

Her sister, Vaness Lobete, 40, worked as a domestic helper also in Um Al Quain, UAE.

“She has been treated badly by her employer; as her sister I am worried on her when she decided to run away from her employer,” Theresa narrated.

She said: “We seek help from OWWA and Philippine Consulate in Dubai, UAE, as we thought that these government agencies for OFWs can help us but burdens us more. Year 2009 when we started seeking help from these PHL agencies and until now no action taken, and as per conversation to OWWA Officer, that my sister is not yet beaten badly so she need to be patient and cooperative since she worked as domestic helper, the officer implying as that we need to wait my sister killed before we file complaint! This is ridiculous and rude.”

OFW Theresa said she managed to locate her sister when she run away from her employer and endorsed her to the OWWA to seek temporary shelter but only to be told that ‘OWWA is not a shelter and not a charitable institution.’

“I keep calling Ms. Mary (OWWA officer) but she’s always busy and diverts her calls, no one attended my sister’s problem; she keeps hiding for two (2) years and now the police caught her at UM AL Quain and sent to Jail last February 11, 2011,” OFW Theresa on her email sent to Migrante-UAE.

Yesterday, along with Migrante officers in Dubai, Theresa was able to locate her sister. She was caught by immigration police as she is ‘undocumented’ and was sent to Al Aweer Central Jail.

“Again, this is a ‘crystal clear’ case of disservice by PH government agencies task to provide prompt and proper assistance to our maltreated and distress OFWs like Vanessa,” Morona said.

He calls on the Department of Labor and Employment as well as the Department of Foreign Affairs to investigate this condemnable disservice.

“Our OFWs should be treated fairly and must be given the best service the government could provide as they contribute much in keeping the Philippine economy afloat.”

“The Aquino government should send a strong message to inept embassy and labor officials abroad if his government is serious enough in providing honest-to-goodness service to OFWs and their families,” Morona said.

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