27 March 2012
Kin seeks help to locate ‘missing’ Saudi OFW
An overseas Filipino worker (OFW) who was deployed sometime on June 2011 in Saudi Arabia to work as a domestic worker has not contacted her kin in the Philippines three (3) months after she was deployed prompting the latter to seek for assistance to locate her, according to a Filipino migrants rights group Migrante-Middle East (M-ME).
Joebie Claraga Bautista, 41 years old, from Talisay City, Negros Occidental, was deployed to Saudi Arabia to work as a domestic worker for a Saudi household.
As per the information sent by the family to M-ME’s John Leonard Monterona, OFW Bautista’s deployment was facilitated by the Manila-based recruitment firm ABC Manila International Incorporated.
“On the first 3 months of her work, she still had communication and updates with us until August 2011,” her sister Niela Bautista, adding that she was surprised when someone called her and introduces herself as Analiza (Joebie’s friend) who was also working as domestic helper in Saudi Arabia.
She was informed that her sister was maltreated by her employer and asking for help to be sent home. According to Analiza, Joebie’s employer and her employer are relative.
“Our family is so worried about her situation but we can’t contact her anymore since last September last year and until now,” OFW Bautista’s sister Niela stated on her request for assistance sent to M-ME’s Monterona.
According to the family, they ‘exerted all effort to contact and looked for her; they already asked help from OWWA, DFA and Philippine Embassy, and OWWA facilitated to look her in Riyadh but they failed’.
Even the recruitment agency, ABC Manila International Incorporated, just gave the family assurance that OFW Bautista is ‘fine’, but when the family asked Joebie’s contact number and her employer, it refused to give the information.
The family also contacted Analiza. ‘She answered but she refused to get details on Joebie’s situation and she doesn’t want to get involved because she was afraid of what will happen to her’.
Monterona said he called Analiza, Joebie’s friend, and was able to speak with her, as she works with Joebie’s employer’s relative. “She (Analiza, Joebie’s friend) told me that she lost contact with Joebie since last year and that she has no information about Joebie.”
“I already alerted the PH embassy and POLO-OWWA asking them to promptly locate OFW Bautista and ascertain her condition as she had not contacted her family since September last year,” Monterona confirmed.
Monterona said the Manila-based recruitment agency has the obligation to know the condition of their deployed worker and that the family of the OFWs must be properly informed.
Monterona confirmed he already sent an electronic mail to POEA-Repatriation Unit to call the attention of OFW Bautista’s agency in Manila and require them to give information on OFW’s situation to her family.
John Leonard Monterona
Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator
Mobile No. 00966 564978012