“What happened to us there was really traumatic. For me, it’s not humane, it’s slavery. We were allowed to sleep for only two hours. We are also not allowed to urinate. Our food was limited. Whatever the food they left, that’s what we can only eat,” human trafficking victim, Joan Masa said.
This has been the bitter experience of Joan Masa as a house helper in Abu Dhabi for 9 months.
Masa was a victim of an illegal recruiter in Laguna.
The said illegal recruiter offered her huge salary and a good employer — But the opposite was what happened.
Joan is just among the more than 100 distressed overseas Filipino workers the Philippine Embassy gives assistance to so they could return to the Philippines.
The government also gave each of them P15,000 worth of livelihood so they could start their own business.
“Actually the Philippine government paid for their fare, they were also given fare. These OFW’s are victims of human trafficking,” DFA Migrant Workers Affairs Usec. Sarah Lou Arriola said.
“We try to make their lives comfortable, so when they arrive here, they can have something to start new lives,” she added.
According to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), there are still a lot of undocumented Filipino workers in Abu Dhabi, but they are having difficulty determining their exact number because usually enter the Middle East using tourist visas.
The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) believes such a system can be avoided if the implementation of the Labor Cooperation Agreement of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the government of Abu Dhabi pushes through.
“Stated there is decent recruitment of the workers for UAE which means once the UAE Domestic Workers Law takes effect, like what Usec says, maybe in the first quarter of next year, all OFWs going to UAE will strictly undergo the process of the POEA strictly, there will no longer be visit and tourist visa deployment,” OWWA chief Hans Leo Cacdac said.
Based on the figures of the DFA, about 700 Filipino in Abu Dhabi were repatriated for illegal working there.
Philippine authorities continue to process the repatriation of other distressed OFWs in Abu Dhabi. – Joan Nano | UNTV News & Rescue
109 undocumented OFWs return home from Dubai
Undocumented OFWs who availed the amnesty program of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) | Department of Foreign Affairs
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Wednesday brought home 109 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from Dubai.
The agency has now repatriated a total of 838 OFWs since the amnesty program began in August.
The Office of Migrant Workers Affairs shouldered airline tickets, exit fines and other penalties of the returning OFWs.
Each of the repatriates were given financial assistance of P5,000 as part of the government’s “all-out support” for the returning OFWs.
“Your presence here today demonstrates the kind of care and compassion President Duterte has for our overseas workers,” Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs Sarah Lou Y. Arriola said
She also reminded all Filipinos who are seeking employment overseas to make sure that they go through the proper application process and follow the rules and regulations of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).
Undocumented Filipinos who wish to return to the Philippines under this program will be assisted by the Philippine Consulate General in Dubai and the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi.
Consul General Paul Raymund Cortes encouraged qualified Filipinos to take advantage of the UAE’s amnesty program before the 31 October 2018 deadline, to give the Embassy and the Consulate General ample time to process the necessary documents.
More OFWs in Kuwait register for 2019 polls
Overseas Filipino workers (OFW) in Kuwait register for the overseas absentee voting program.
KUWAIT – The Philippine Embassy in Kuwait is pleased to announce that it has surpassed its target of overseas absentee voting (OAV) registration by almost 50 percent.
The Embassy said there are more or less 260,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFW) in Kuwait. To date, they already have registered more than 42,000 overseas voters.
“Actually, ang target natin mula noong December 2016 hanggang 2018 ay 28,834. From that date up to the present, ang registered na is 42,596 so na-reach na natin ang target natin,” said Charge d’ Affair, a.i. Mohd. Noordin P.N. Lomondot.
In 2016, around 49,000 OFWs in Kuwait voted in the presidential elections. Lomondot is confident that the voter’s turn out in the 2019 midterm polls will be higher among OFWs in the Gulf State.
The Embassy is continuously encouraging Filipinos in Kuwait who were not able to vote in the past two consecutive elections to reactivate their registration to be able to join the elections next year.
The last day of the overseas registration is on September 30, 2018.
Overseas registration hits 1.6 million mark – DFA
Meanwhile, the Department of Foreign Affairs- Overseas Voting Secretariat is confident that before the deadline, the agency will be able to register around 1.9 million potential overseas voters in the upcoming 2019 midterm elections.
As of May 2018, the agency has registered more than 1.6 million Filipino voters in different countries, already surpassing the previous record of 1.376 million absentee voters for to the 2016 Presidential Elections. – Sonny Delos Reyes / Marje Pelayo
DFA identifies OFW found inside a septic tank in South Korea
PASAY CITY, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) confirmed Monday, May 7, that it has identified the overseas Filipino worker (OFW) whose remains were found inside a septic tank in South Korea.
DFA Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano refused to name the victim, whose identity was verified through DNA samples from relatives, so as not to preempt the ongoing investigation.
The victim, who was reported missing since last month, arrived in South Korea in 2016 and worked as a factory worker.
DFA is now expediting the repatriation of the remains of the victim while authorities are tracking the whereabouts of the prime suspect who is also an OFW. – Asher Cadapan Jr. | UNTV News & Rescue