MANILA – Labor secretary Silvestre Bello III ordered an investigation into reported abuses against overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) by their recruitment agencies in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Attache Nasser Munder of the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Jeddah reported to Bello cases of OFW defrauding and an alleged rape, in which a representative of a recruiter company is involved.
Bello directed the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) to look into the report submitted by the POLO official involving recruitment firms Madar Al Kharj Recruitment Agency and Iemploy Manpower Services Inc.
Munder said four household service workers – Samra Musa Lidasan, Lyn Silongan Sali, Norhen Gayo Sarat, and Noraima Mamadra Bandara – were forced to work for more than 10 hours in different households and additional two hours at the household of their employer.
The workers were holding legitimate Iqama but were compelled to work as cleaners, he added.
They ran away from their employer and sought refuge at the Migrant Workers and Other Overseas Filipinos Resource Center in Jeddah on March 1.
The complainant also reported an alleged rape case involving a 22-year-old OFW identified only as “Saida” on Dec. 28, 2018. The suspect was her agency’s representative.
The victim is staying at Bahay Kalinga as the case is being handled by the Assistance to Nationals Section of Philippine Consulate General in Jeddah.
Munder recommended the suspension and cancellation of the licenses of the concerned recruitment agencies.
Bello also ordered the POEA to immediately report the developments and results of the investigation to authorize appropriate sanctions against both companies.
He assured the OFWs of the necessary assistance from POLO and POEA. (With a report from PNA/PN)