In the past few years, the Philippines did countless efforts to protect the welfare of Filipino domestic workers in Middle East countries particularly in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. This is because there are a lot of reported cases of abuse and maltreatment among Filipino workers. Unfortunately, despite the constant efforts, there are still reported cases of abuse towards the most vulnerable industry – the domestic workers.
Recently, three domestic workers in Kuwait pleaded for help through social media because their employer allegedly imprisoned and abused them. One of the three OFWs is a senior citizen.
“Kasi minamaltrato po kami ng aming amo. Nagagalit na siya sa akin ng wala kadahil-dahilan. Pagkatapos, matagal na po pinapadlockan kami ng pinto,” says 66-year-old OFW identified only as Ruby.
According to Ruby, their employer started to abuse them after they asked his permission to return to the Philippines and resign from their work.
“Binubulyawan kami diyan sa labas. Kahit hindi kaya, kinakaya na lang. Pero talgang suko na ako. Gusto ko na umuwi. Ito’y nilihim ko lang sa pamilya ko pero hindi ko na talaga nalihim,” says the senior citizen.
One of the colleagues of Ruby secretly gives her food whenever her employer imprisons her. But when their employer caught Rose giving Ruby some food, she herself got imprisoned too.
“Ako po may sakit na po ngayon na ulcer po kasi pinapadlockan po kami nila hanggang hindi po kami makakain sa oras. Atsaka naawa po kami sa kasama namin,” says Rose, the colleague of Ruby.
The case of Ruby was already brought to the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Kuwait, says the sibling of Ruby. Their employer was then called to the office. But as they tried to call Ruby last Friday, her phone was unreachable prompting fear over her welfare.
“Mula nung tumawag ‘yung OWWA POLO sa amo parang doon na naghigpit. Parang bantay sarado na sila, hindi na ma-contact,” the sibling of Ruby said.
On the other hand, the Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Affairs confirmed that the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait is already taking action on the case of the three OFWs.