Cacdac promises DMW will assist distressed Pinay DH

    Undersecretary Hans Leo L. Cacdac said on Friday that the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) would help distressed Filipino domestic helper (DH) Novie Ramos Peralta.

    Peralta, who complained of maltreatment and physical abuse by her employer, is a DH in Kuwait but was brought to Al Jawharah in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia by her employer who took a vacation there in June this year.

    She arrived in Kuwait on January 31.

    Annie H. Fajardo, a friend who is working as a nanny in Riyadh, the Saudi capital, sent the information on Peralta’s complaint.

    “Pinalo ako at saka pinilipit ang kamay ko,” Peralta said in a video message to Fajardo. (I was hit then my arm was twisted.)

    Peralta’s case was referred to former career diplomat Rafael E. Seguis whose postings brought him to key cities—Cairo, Egypt; Teheran, Iran; Tripoli, Libya; Baghdad, Iraq; Amman, Jordan; Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; and Jakarta, Indonesia.

   Seguis sought the help of Cacdac on the case.

    In response to Seguis’ request, the former administrator of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and now DMW undersecretary said, with characteristic humility, “Okay, Sir. We will help ASAP (as soon as possible).”

    Peralta did not explain why she was hit and her arm twisted but early on, she also complained that she was kicked.

    “Isang linggo pa lamang na nasa Jeddah kami ay hiniling ko na magkaroon ng  koneksyon sa Internet para makatawag ako sa  pamilya  ko sa Pilipinas na pinangungulilahan ko,” she said.

   (A week after we arrived in Jeddah, I asked for Internet connection so I could call my family in the Philippines that I missed.)

    Her request resulted in a heated verbal exchange after which she was reportedly kicked by her employer.

    She told Fajardo what had happened and what the employer had done to her, requesting the latter to help her leave her employer and to be repatriated.

    The case was referred to Seguis who endorsed it to Consul Edgar Tomas “Gary” Q. Auxilian of the Philippine Consulate in Jeddah.

   Auxilian forwarded it to Labor Attaché Roel B. Martin of the Jeddah Migrant Workers Office (MWO).

    Jeddah MWO coordinated with its counterpart in Kuwait, which got in touch with Peralta’s agency, Al Nashama for Recruitment of Domestic Manpower Est. whose Philippine counterpart is Insana International Placement Agency (Insana Agency) in Pasay City.

    Peralta claimed her situation had not improved. She said her employer promised to bring her back to Kuwait but had not done so yet.

    She added that after her agency contacted the employer, the latter had been making threatening gestures at every opportunity, making her feel nervous.

    With the latest incident of physical abuse committed against her, she said she wanted to be rescued and sent home to the Philippines.

   A few days’ back, Cacdac also acted on the case involving Ma. Mercedes Marquez Martinez, former DH in Skaka, Al Jouf, Saudi Arabia who requested financial assistance from the OWWA.

    According to Martinez, she would get financial help, as well as livelihood assistance.

    Her case was also referred by Fajardo, who is her neighbor in Antipolo City.

   Nonie “Cenon” C. Sagadal, Jr., a community leader in Riyadh, followed up her case with Assistant Labor Attaché Antonio Mutoc, Jr. of the Riyadh MWO.

    Incidentally, Sagadal will be sadly missed by Filipinos whom he has helped in the Saudi capital as he will be going home for good.

   He works as a marketing representative for a Philippine-based bank.

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