Bantay OCW (Ang Boses ng OFW)

Held hostage by her employer

/ 12:01 AM August 03, 2014

Nora Ursabia of Davao City sent an SMS (text message) to Bantay OCW.

Ursabia, who said she read Inquirer every day in the Department of Education office in Davao City where she worked, has a sister in Dubai whose contract ended in March.


But Ursabia said her sister’s employer would not let her come home.

We called Nora during our show on Radyo Inquirer 990 AM and we found out that her sister Maritess had only been in Dubai for about a year.


But Maritess worked long hours so she asked to be repatriated because of her difficult situation. She did not think she would be able to work for another year.

Nora said her sister wanted the recruitment agency in Dubai to send her home but the company said she had to repay the expenses her employer incurred for her trip from the Philippines.

Maritess knew she could not pay the amount so she asked to be sent to another employer. Three days after she left her old employer, as she was looking for a new job,  her former boss saw her and convinced her to return to work.

Maritess agreed. Since then, however, her employer would regularly deduct a certain amount from her salary. The employer said she paid the agency another placement fee when she rehired Maritess.

But the agency denied that the employer was charged another placement fee.

Nora said at least P40,000 had been deducted so far from her sister’s salary.

Maritess should have been home in March but was still held “hostage” by her employer. She continued to pay for the alleged additional expenses her employer incurred.


This complaint has already been sent to our Bantay OCW partner, Labor Attaché David Des Dicang, in the office of Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz. We will wait for Labor Attaché (LabAtt) Delmer Cruz’s response from the Philippine Overseas Labor Office of the Philippine Consulate in Dubai.


No passport

Meanwhile, Merasol Tablo sought the assistance of Bantay OCW for her sister Josephine Oclarit, who is working in Fujairah, United Arab Emirates.

Oclarit’s passport expired in November but her employer did not want to renew it because the employer did not want to lose Oclarit, who is good at her job.

Apparently, the employer could not find a replacement for Oclarit. The employer was doing everything to prevent Oclarit from returning to the Philippines.

LabAtt Des Dicang said he immediately informed the office of LabAtt Delmer Cruz in Dubai after receiving Tablo’s complaint.

Cruz immediately contacted the employer and, after a brief negotiation, the employer agreed to let Oclarit return home on Aug. 10.

Our Philippine Consulate in Dubai is now working on her passport. We will wait for Oclarit’s arrival.

Bantay OCW would like to thank everyone who helps us resolve our OFWs’ complaints.

Susan Andes, also known as Susan K., can be heard over Radyo Inquirer DzIQ 990 AM, Monday to Friday, 10:30 a.m.-12 noon.

Audio/video live streaming is at

Helpline: 0927-6499870

E-mail: [email protected]/ [email protected]

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TAGS: Bantay OCW, OFW, overseas Filipino worker, UAE, United Arab Emirates
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