10 maltreated OFWs sue recruitment agencies, employers for ordeal
MANILA, Philippines—Ten maltreated overseas Filipino workers (OFWS) from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have filed cases against their recruiters and principals following their repatriation to the Philippines.
In a report to Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) chief Hans Leo Cacdac said the cases have been filed before the POEA’s Docket and Enforcement Division.
Cacdac added that the agency has provided lawyers to help the OFWs pursue their cases.
“The 10 OFWs who filed the cases were among 20 migrant workers who ran away from abusive employers in the United Arab Emirates and were earlier repatriated to the Philippines,” Baldoz said.
She identified them as Nerissa Molleda, Maria Malaya Padilla, Diana Lou Publico, Angela Uyammi, Clarence Viscarra, Mary Chell Afable, Lariza Arceo, Janet Bentero, Jonnalyn Belmosao, and Maida Esmael.
Charged before the POEA were: Futuristic International; Cyber Manpower; Noveau Riche International; Al Mashel Agency; Marhaba Recruitment Agency; Golden Tower Engineering Consultant; Dalandanan Manpower; Al Alammi Labour Recruitment/Ramil Amohtasib; CXM International Recruitment Services, Inc.; Expert Human Resource Consultancy Recruitment; Sky Resources Manpower; Ras Al Khaimah; Konnexion Manpower; Mohammed Naveed Nahrula Siddqi/Dar Almadina; Greenworld Agency; Rashi Mohammed Ali Salim Alkhaya; Dalandan International, et al; Al Amani Labour Recruitment/Royal Emirates Supermarket LLC/Fahad; and Shames Al Sobeh/Madam Rashia.
Cacdac noted that some of the recruiters had no POEA license and record of deployment.
He also cited Futuristic International, and Noveau Riche, which were found to be under documentary suspension by the POEA since November 19, 2011, and July 30, 2012, respectively, due to earlier cases.
Earlier, Labor Attaché to Dubai Delmer Cruz confirmed the repatriation to the country of the 20 maltreated OFWs.
The majority of the abused OFWs were illegally recruited women workers who risked going abroad as tourists and ending up abused and maltreated.
“We continue to stringently warn OFWs against falling prey to illegal recruiters and to immediately report any sign or suspicion of illegal recruitment activity to the POEA,” Cacdac said.
He stressed that recruiters who have continued to recruit OFWs even if their licenses have been suspended or canceled, would be deemed guilty of “blatant defiance of the law.”
Meanwhile, Baldoz reminded the DOLE’s labor attaches in 38 Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLOs) of her earlier directive for them to go all out and prevent or pre-empt such illegal recruitment activities in coordination with Philippine Missions abroad and the POEA.
Baldoz, who sits as the POEA chair, emphasized that POLOs have been empowered to cancel the accreditation of any employer found violating the rules on the hiring and deployment of OFWs without having to go back to the POEA in the Philippines.