JORDAN, Middle East – At least eighty-five women overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are asking for repatriation in Jordan because of deplorable conditions, Filipino migrants’ rights group Migrante-Middle East (M-ME) said.
‘We’ve found out the distressed OFWs were victims of human trafficking and illegal recruitment who have suffered labor and physical abuses forcing them to run away from their respective employers,” John Leonard Monterona M-M regional coordinator said.
Monterona said that their group’s records showed twenty-three out of the 85 are detained at Nadera Detention Center in Jordan, 32 at the POLO-OWWA Bahay Kalinga, and the remaining 30 are staying with friends after they’ve decided to leave the Bahay Kalinga to look for a part time job.
He also noted that the Philippine Government imposed a ban on the deployment of OFWs in Jordan, but reconsidered lifting the ban early this year.
It was learned that most the OFW detainees were apprehended for absconding by the local police.
Nineteen of the 23 detained women OFWs charged for absconding by their employers have already completed their jail terms, Monterona reported. He then called on the Philippine Embassy to arrange the necessary formalities of the deportation of the affected OFWs to include free airfare tickets.
Meantime, 32 more OFWs at the PH embassy-run Bahay Kalinga in Jordan are still awaiting repatriation since 2011.
“The distressed OFWs were told by a PH embassy official to raise an amount for payment of overstaying fee and for their airfare. This will explain why some of them leave the Bahay Kalinga in the hope of raising an amount,” Monterona revealed.
Another 185 women OFWs, 30 of them with kids in Saudi Arabia are asking the government for repatriation, the M-ME said on Sunday.
“Distressed, abused, and run away OFWs stories became a never-ending saga. This will only be stopped, if not minimized, if the PH government will also put a halt on its intensified peddling of unemployed Filipinos abroad through its labor export program and starts generating local jobs with decent pay and benefits,” Monterona averred.
With these, the M-ME renewed calls on the Aquino administration to intensify its repatriation efforts for distressed OFWS in the Middle East.