MANILA, Philippines — Irene Pamplona is among the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who experienced abuse from their employers. She is one of the 62 OFWs who arrived in the country earlier this morning via Philippine Airlines flight RP 669.
“Araw-araw po niya akong binubugbog doon at saka kinukulong niya ako sa kwarto,” said the repatriated OFW.
(My employer would beat me every day and lock me in a room.)
“Sinasakal po, hinahampas po ng pangluto at saka pinapadapa po ako saka binubugbog,” she added.
(My employer would strangle me, strike me with a cooking pan, and make me lie down on broken glass.)
Irene’s dream of a better life turned into a nightmare when she decided to work in Kuwait.
Irene narrated her employer in Kuwait frequently hurts her and deprived her of her salary which is why she was forced to flee.
“Hindi niya ibibigay yung sahod ko sa akin kaya tumakas po ako,” she said.
(My employer would not give my salary that’s why I fled.)
“Kasama na po dito yung masasabi nating nagkaproblema sa Kuwait, nagkakaso, mga umalis po sa kanilang amo, kinasuhan ng amo, inayos na po ng POLO ‘yan at mauuwi na po natin sila,” said OWWA Deputy Administrator for Operation Brigido Dulay.
(Among them are those facing charges. They fled their employers, and their employers filed charges against them. The POLO has addressed the problem, and now they can finally return home.)
Each of the returning OFWs received 15,000 worth of financial assistance from the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).
OWWA also offered them livelihood program and training.
“Bibigyan natin sila ng initial capital para po sila makapag negosyo duon naman po sa ating mga kababayan na hindi negosyo ang gusto pwede naman po silang mag-training,” said the official.
(We will give them initial capital so they could start their own business.To those who don’t want a business, they can undergo training.)
OWWA said that more than 9,000 Filipinos in Kuwait are expected to avail of the amnesty before the deadline on the 22nd of February.
It can be noted that the Kuwaiti government will begin a crackdown on undocumented overseas workers in March.
— Leslie Longboen | UNTV News and Rescue
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