Bantay OCW (Ang Boses ng OFW)

Foreigners trust Filipinos’ skills more than fellow countrymen do

/ 12:36 AM September 30, 2012

Many foreigners trust the skills and talents of our Filipino workers overseas. This is why there is a continuous preference for our overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) abroad.

Like our engineers who have designed and constructed many buildings and bridges in the Middle East and other parts of the world. They have been entrusted with many difficult and sensitive projects. Our engineers can point proudly to their achievements.


However, according to some of our OFWs, they are saddened because when they return to Philippines, some of our kababayan don’t seem to trust their competence as much as foreign employers do.

It’s surprising that our kababayans cannot even trust a small project to Filipino engineers—projects that are simple compared to his projects overseas, complained one OFW.


He will only be assigned as assistant of an expatriate here, he added.

This makes our OFWs sad because they are eager to share what they have learned and experienced abroad.

“Mabuti pa ang mga dayuhan bilib sa amin (Foreigners believe in our competence).” Here, he added, their skills are underrated.

Bandits in Dubai

Bantay OCW received a text message from Mike Daud of Cagayan de Oro City regarding his OFW sister, Melanie Panda, who died in Dubai last May 20, 2011. According to Mike, her employer had personally called and informed the family that bandits had attacked in their home and Melanie, who was alone in the house at that time, was killed.

The family filed a complaint, asking the Department of Foreign Affairs to look into the case but they have yet to receive a reply.

In a telephone interview with Radyo Inquirer (990 AM band), Mike, who was in Cotabato at that time, said Melanie’s two year contract was  supposed to end last December 2011. Her employer, a Kuwaiti national had said Melanie was killed by “Indian bandits” who violently entered their house.


Mike had talked to Melanie on May 19, 2011, just a day before they received the call informing them of her death. He said his sister didn’t mention any complaint against her employer and they only talked about her four kids.

But surprisingly after one year and four months, Melanie’s remains have not been repatriated yet. Bantay OCW immediately coordinated with Labor Attaché Delmer Cruz of Philippine Overseas Labor Office in the Philippine Embassy in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Labor Attaché Cruz sounded astonished with the complaint, saying there are no reports of bandits attack in Dubai.

Apparently the embassy was not familiar with the case but promised to immediately look into it and coordinate with Dubai Immigration.  We gave the name and contact information of Melanie’s employer to the embassy. We are hoping that this case will be resolved as soon as possible.

Susan Andes, aka Susan K. is on board at Radyo Inquirer 990 dzIQ AM, Monday to Friday 12:30-2:00 p.m. with audio/video live streaming: PTV 4, every Friday, 8:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. & GMA News TV International; Hotlines: 5357209/8819423/ 0920-968-4700; E-mail:

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TAGS: Middle east, OFW, Overseas employment
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