In recent years, the Philippines has made numerous measures to safeguard the welfare of Filipino domestic workers in Middle Eastern countries, particularly Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. This is due to the high number of documented incidences of abuse and maltreatment of Filipino workers. Sadly, despite ongoing efforts, there are still reported incidences of abuse directed at the most vulnerable industry — domestic workers.
Three domestic helpers in Kuwait recently asked for help on social media after their employer reportedly imprisoned and tortured them. One of the three OFWs is over the age of 65.
2 Domestic Helpers, 1 Senior Citizen Request for Rescue Assistance from Abusive Employer
The OFWs revealed their plight through social media, as featured in a news report by GMA News Online.
“Kasi minamaltrato po kami ng aming amo. Nagagalit na siya sa akin ng wala kadahil-dahilan. Pagkatapos, matagal na po pinapadlockan kami ng pinto (We were being maltreated by our male employer. He’d get angry at me for no apparent reason. Then, he would lock us up for a long time),” says the 66-year-old OFW identified only as Ruby.
According to Ruby, their employer began abusing them after they requested permission to return to the Philippines and resign from their jobs.
“Binubulyawan kami diyan sa labas. Kahit hindi kaya, kinakaya na lang. Pero talagang suko na ako. Gusto ko na umuwi. Ito’y nilihim ko lang sa pamilya ko pero hindi ko na talaga nalihim (We’d be yelled at, even in public. Even if it’s hard, we’re just enduring it. But I couldn’t take it anymore. I want to go home. I’ve kept this from my family for a while, but I couldn’t keep it to myself anymore),” says the senior citizen.
When Ruby’s boss imprisons her, one of her co-workers discreetly brings her food. However, when their boss saw Rose giving Ruby food, she was also imprisoned.
“Ako po may sakit na po ngayon na ulcer po kasi pinapadlockan po kami nila hanggang hindi po kami makakain sa oras. At saka naawa po kami sa kasama namin (I developed an ulcer because we’ve been missing meals when we get locked up. We just felt very sorry for our co-worker),” says Rose, the colleague of Ruby.
Ruby’s case has already been brought to the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Kuwait, according to Ruby’s sibling. Their boss was summoned to the office. However, when they attempted to contact Ruby last Friday, her phone was inaccessible, raising concerns about her well-being.
“Mula nung tumawag ‘yung OWWA POLO sa amo parang doon na naghigpit. Parang bantay sarado na sila, hindi na ma-contact (After the OWWA-POLO contacted the employer, things became much difficult. It’s as though the employer became stricter, and wouldn’t answer their calls anymore),” Ruby’s sibling shared.
The Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Affairs, on the other hand, affirmed that the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait is already initiating action in the matter of the three OFWs.
Catch the full video report below as posted by GMA News Online via YouTube: