No more cover-ups; assist and repatriate distressed OFWs from KSA

Protest of stranded OFWs at the POLO-OWWA Office in Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia, August 18, 2016

Protest of stranded OFWs at the POLO-OWWA Office in Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia, August 18, 2016

Migrante Eastern Region-Kingdom of Saudi Arabia strongly denounces the ineptitude and grave neglect of government officials in the region who play deaf and blind to the condition and demands of OFWs.

The continued and sustained lies of POLO-OWWA aimed at hiding the sad plight of our Filipino migrant workers in KSA Easter Region is endangering the security and lives of all distressed, abused and stranded OFWs who are frequently massing the Philippine Labor Office here.

The lies being peddled by these unscrupulous government officials are inimical to the best interest of the Filipino people. Instead of divulging important data to the public, POLO-OWWA officials opted to hide the truth by claiming that there are no stranded, abused or distressed OFWs here in eastern region. Despite receiving hundreds of unattended referred cases, those manning these inutile government agencies have the gall to claim that there is no single distressed OFW in this region.

By not divulging the truth, they contradict the Philippine Government’s thrusts for transparency and accountability, and service to OFWs.

Filipino migrant workers revealed to Migrante that POLO-OWWA officials threatened them with three (3) years imprisonment if they are found to be posting videos in social networks to ask for help from the Philippine government. Instead of providing assistance, these officials even add to the mental stress of OFWs by forcing them to keep mum of their condition – under threats of retaliation – just so they cannot reveal the non-performance of duties of this government agency.

Previously, POLO-OWWA has already put in prison an OFW who recorded his dialogue with a POLO-OWWA official. According to the OFW, he intentionally recorded the meeting to prove the agency’s neglect on his grievance. The OFW is willing to be interviewed by any mainstream Philippine media to expose this unjust and inhumane treatment by a government official.

Even Migrante, whose main objective is to help our distressed OFWs, has also become a target of harassment. Some POLO officials in Al-Khobar have allegedly been gathering information about Migrante Eastern Region officers.

We condemn in strongest terms possible the oppressive acts of Philippine government officials here. Instead of giving assistance to our migrant workers, POLO-OWWA has become the oppressor and abuser of OFWs in KSA.

It is clear that they wish to distort the truth and make people believe that they are effective and clean. They only want to protect their respective careers and personal interests by sacrificing and setting aside the safety and lives of our distressed kababayans and even those who assist them.

Migrante Eastern Region, KSA calls on the Philippine government to immediately intervene and act on our demand to immediately repatriate our stranded and distressed OFWs in KSA. In equal vein, we call for admonition and immediate replacement of erring POLO-OWWA Al Khobar officials.

There is no reason to lengthen the sufferings of our people. The grave neglect and inhumane treatment of our helpless OFWs must stop now.

(Migrante Eastern Region, KSA is willing to share related data and information to all interested media networks, media practioners and concerned agencies in the Philippines)

References:

Faisal Muhammad

Chairperson – Migrante Al Khobar

+96654-107-3001

 

Dhel Macalintal

Information Bureau – Migrante Al Khobar

+96655-1977512

 

Gil Libria

Rights and Welfare Assistance Program

Migrante Al Khobar

+966-53-752-1657

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