Migrante-Middle East (M-ME), a migrant rights advocacy group, today asked a simple question to Davao City Mayor Rody Duterte if he wins the presidency what the latter can do with inept Philippine officials abroad.
“This was a no-brainer question coming from us, the OFWs, around the world. But, we want a straight answer from Mayor Duterte himself who we perceived as outspoken on what he feels,” said M-ME regional coordinator John Leonard Monterona.
Monterona explained what prompted the OFWs asked this simple question was that there were numerous complaints coming from the distressed, stranded, and undocumented OFWs whose request for on-site assistance have not been properly attended, if not neglected at all, in numerous instances.
The Saudi-based OFW leader cited as an example the recent incident of 4 distressed and ran away women OFWs who have sought shelter at the PH consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia but was dragged and thrown out the Philippine consulate building for 5 hours.
The 4 posted a little more than 1-minute video lamenting the inhume treatment by the Philippine consulate that gone viral in social networking sites with 790,000 views as of this writing.
If not of the prompt intervention and representation made by Monterona, the four OFWs could not have been returned inside the Philippine consulate.
The following day, they were permitted to stay at the Filipino Workers Resource Center (FWRC) inside the Philippine consulate.
Monterona also cited the deplorable plight of the at least 86 stranded male OFWs staying the Philippine embassy-rented estraha (villa) in Riyadh.
“For the past days, there were heavy rains and the make-shifts made up of trapals (used tarpaulins) were damaged due to heavy rains. Thus, water sipped inside their beds sheets, and those in the empty swimming pools got soaked,” Monterona said.
Yesterday, some POEA officials who are in Riyadh along with some PH embassy and labor officials visited the male stranded in Exit 8 estraha, Monterona citing information from the stranded.
“We hope that the POEA officials visit will help facilitate the repatriation of the 86 stranded OFWs without further delay,” Monterona said.
“To our friends in the media, help us please convey our simple question to Mayor Duterte, and other presidential aspirants as well. We really want the imposition of rules to weed out inept Philippine officials abroad.”