All’s well that ends well

    A distressed Filipino domestic helper (DH) in Taif City, 171.5 kilometers away from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, is happy she is now with her family in Allacapan, Cagayan Valley.

         On Tuesday, Cathleen Maire Almazan Costales was sending text messages from Taif asking for help so that her employer, Saeed Abdullah Hamoud Althowairqi, would not deduct the cost of her plane ticket from the amount due her SR2,950 (P44,722).

    The amount included SR700 (P10,612) balance from what was due her in May, SR1,500 (P22,740) salary for September, and SR750 (P11,370)  for the 15 days she worked in October.

   Her request reached former career diplomat Ambassador Rafael E. Seguis, who referred it to Undersecretary Hans Leo J. Cacdac, officer-in-charge of the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW), and Consul General Edgar Tomas “Gary” Q. Auxilian of the Philippine Consulate in Jeddah.

   In a text message sent through Seguis, Cacdac said, “Okay, we’ll help our compatriot, Ms. Cathleen Maire Costales.”

    On Tuesday night (Philippine time), Costales texted that her employer had dropped her at the airport without giving her the amount due. Her employer used the money to buy her a plane ticket. She also said she had no money with her.

    Her employer also took her cellphone and changed the settings so she could not call or send a text message to complain. Her complaint also reached Seguis.

    On Wednesday, Seguis forwarded a message from Cacdac that the government would help her and refund her plane ticket.

    Seguis also sent a text message from ConGen Auxilian, who quoted Labor Attaché Roel B. Martin that the  Migrant Workers Office-OWWA (Overseas Workers Welfare Administration) in Jeddah contacted Costales after she arrived in Manila to give her assistance and ticket refund.

        Costales, who arrived in Saudi Arabia on March 28, complained that she was ill-fed, made to work not just for her employer’s family but also for his mother in another house, and told to work as a masseuse for different clients without extra compensation. They also insisted she cleaned the car, which was not in her contract, among other things.

    That is why she asked for rescue and repatriation to the Philippines instead of allowing her agency, Golden Excellence, to look for another employer for her.

       Network Management Recruitment Agency in Paco, Manila, deployed her.

       On  Wednesday night, Cathleen sent another text message saying she was already in the Philippines and thanked everyone who helped her.

   Seguis —who served the Department of  Foreign Affairs in crucial cities like   Riyadh (Saudi Arabia), Baghdad (Iraq), Amman (Jordan), Tripoli (Libya), Tehran (Iran) and Cairo (Egypt)— expressed happiness for having helped solve the case.

     “All’s well that ends well,” Seguis quoted William Shakespeare.

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