Richard C. Paddock wrote in the Los Angeles Times: “ For the sake of supporting their families, Filipino overseas workers endure years of loneliness. Some, especially maids in the Middle East, suffer beatings and sexual abuse. In countries such as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, they are jailed for running away. [Source:Richard C. Paddock, Los Angeles Times, April 20, 2006]
Overseas Filipino Workers knows that its a risk working abroad and yet many Filipinos take that risk and faces different challenges while being away from their families just to give a brighter future for their beloved ones.
Another case of OFW problems was being noticed in social media as Julia Zabat, a domestic helper in Kuwait, posted some pictures and videos of an OFW who is suffering from mental illness. Zabat is asking for help to find the family of this OFW.
She is Angelina Martinez Ojeda, a 45 year old woman from Valenzuela City who was currently being accomodated in Aeyman Alawael Recruitment Agency in Saudi Arabia. Zabat informed that Ojeda’s former agency was MMM International Placement Corp.
As of this writing, this post has already garnered a 6,052 shares.
There is no specified reason as to why this happened to Ojeda, but commenters presumes its because of homesickness.
The physical distance takes a toll because Filipinos, given a choice, would really much prefer to have their families with them. It is not surprising that the main complaint is homesickness- for the people they love who are back home and also the carefree way of life among the people they care for. If given a choice, they would much prefer to be working back in their country. Unfortunately, the high unemployment rate is the very reason driving these workers to seek for greener pastures abroad.
The Government’s answer to the arising and never-ending problem regarding OFW’s is to create a separate department for OFWs that would address their concerns and provide speedier, more convenient services.
Reports from the Rappler said that ACTS-OFW representative Aniceto “John” Bertiz III filed a bill seeking the establishment of a department dedicated to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs): the Department of Migration and Development (DMD).
A counterpart measure of the bill filed at the Senate by Senator Cynthia Villar, House Bill 192 aims to “ensure a unified, fast, and coherent approach in extending government services to Filipinos overseas and their families,” according to a press release from the party list.
DMD will provide services for the OFWs such as:
- a proposed Php 1 billion Special Revolving Assistance Fund for documented and undocumented Filipino migrants and to be used for: emergency repatriation, medical expenses; immigration penalties; legal assistance; payment of blood money; humanitarian assistance to families left behind; scholarships for children of Filipinos overseas and other necessary activities.
- One Stop Migrant Assistance Centers in all major capital towns and cities nationwide to ensure prompt, efficient, vital and relevant services to migrant Filipinos and their families, to include passport, and authentication services, acquisition of government clearances and permits, validation of overseas job offers, reintegration services, and all pertinent seminars and workshops for all stakeholders.
- The department’s arbiters shall have original and exclusive jurisdiction of cases involving money claims, violation of recruitment policies, and disciplinary actions against migrant workers and foreign employers.
If this proposed department will be effective, OFWs will be spared of the problems they alwas faced in working abroad and cases like Angelina Martinez Ojeda will be prevented.