DFA welcomes distressed women OFWs from Riyadh

(DFA Photo)

    Four distressed women overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) arrived recently from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and were welcomed at the airport by officials of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

   “The women were in high spirits as they finally arrived after an arduous legal battle with their employer,” the DFA said in a  statement.

    The statement was received from Rafael E. Seguis, retired Foreign Service Officer who coordinated the case with the Philippine Embassy in the Saudi capital.

  While in Riyadh, the OFWs, three of whom  were nurses,  filed a labor complaint against their employer for maltreatment, verbal and physical abuse, and unpaid salaries.

    The employer, however, filed a retaliatory case against them for labor contract violations. On the basis of the complaint,  the women were detained.

    Pursuant to its Assistance-to-Nationals mandate, the DFA provided  the OFWs legal and welfare assistance and was able to successfully secure their release from detention.

     Attachés from the Philippine Embassy in the Saudi capital sent off the repatriates on a Friday evening while an officer from the Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs joined the welcomers of the OFWs on their arrival in Manila.

    “The release from detention and the repatriation of the OFWs was  proof that the DFA remains fully committed to its mandate to assist our distressed overseas Filipinos, especially when they are victims of abuses by their employers,” DFA acting Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs Eduardo Jose A. de Vega said.

    The OFWs, particularly Kimberly Koh who is a nurse, thanked Seguis for his efforts to help them.

   Ericson Labrador Gallano, a Bureau of Immigration officer who followed up Koh’s case, also thanked Seguis and others who helped with the case.

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