85 troubled women OFWs in Jordan await ‘precious’ Christmas gift of repatriation

THERE are at least 85 women overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who are in deplorable situation in Jordan pleading for repatriation, according to Filipino migrants’ rights group Migrante-Middle East (M-ME).

M-ME regional coordinator John Leonard Monterona cited his group’s records that twenty-three out of the 85 are detained at Nadera Detention Center in Jordan, 32 are at the POLO-OWWA Bahay Kalinga, while 30 are living outside with their friends after they’ve decided to leave from the Bahay Kalinga hoping to find a part time job.

‘We’ve found out the distressed OFWs were victims of human trafficking and illegal recruitment who have suffered labor and physical abuses forcing them to run away from their respective employers” Monterona noting that the PH govt. imposed a ban on the deployment of OFWs in Jordan until it lately reconsidered the lifting of the ban early this year.

Monterona said most of the OFW detainees, who were apprehended by local police, were charged of absconding. “Nineteen of the 23 detained women OFWs have already completed their jail term for absconding case filed by their respective employers,” Monterona who urged the PH Embassy in Jordan to arrange for the required formalities of their deportation including free airfare tickets.

While the 32 OFWs at the PH embassy-run Bahay Kalinga in Jordan have been there since 2011, according to Monterona.

“The distressed OFWs were told by a PH embassy official to raise an amount for payment of overstaying fee and for their airfare. This will explain why some of them leave the Bahay Kalinga in the hope of raising an amount,” Monterona revealed.

On Sunday, M-ME said there are 185 distressed women OFWs, 30 of them with with kids, in Saudi Arabia pleading the PH government of their repatriation.

“Distressed, abused, and run away OFWs stories became a never-ending saga. This will only be stopped, if not minimized, if the PH government will also put a halt on its intensified peddling of unemployed Filipinos abroad through its labor export program and starts generating local jobs with decent pay and benefits,” Monterona averred.

M-ME renewed its call to the Aquino administration to intensify government on-site assistance and efforts in repatriating distressed OFWs in the Middle East.

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