A distressed Filipino household service worker (HSW) in Qassim in northern Saudi Arabia asked the Philippine Embassy in the capital city of Riyadh for help after escaping from her employer.
Gra Sya Alviar Malazzab-Amit (a.k.a. Grace Ann Malazzab Amit) sent a text message on Nov. 8 to say that she escaped because her employer refused to hand her over to her agency.
Her employer had separated from his wife, and he reportedly wanted to make her his mistress, which she refused.
She is a mother of two from Aparri, Cagayan.
“Ang gusto ng employer ko ay kunin ako ng agency pero hindi kumikilos ito (the agency) sa kadahilanang hindi ko maintindihan,” she said.
(My employer wanted the agency to fetch me, but the latter was not making the move for reasons I could not understand.)
If an HSW— domestic helper, nanny, cook, gardener, family driver, etc.— escapes from an employer, they become a “huroob,” somebody who stays away from work without permission.
The employer may report them to the authorities.
After escaping, Grace Ann went to the house of her employer’s sibling in Buraidah, Qassim.
“Nakiusap lamang ako sa kapatid ng employer ko na patuluyin ako nang pansamantala dahil wala akong ibang mapupuntahan pero hindi ako pwedeng magtagal dito,” she said.
(I asked that I be allowed to stay temporarily in the house of my employer’s sibling because I had nowhere else to go. But I could not stay here for long.)
Rafael E. Seguis, former career ambassador, referred the case to the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) Undersecretary and officer-in-charge (OIC) Hans Leo J. Cacdac and Attaché Saifoden “Ding” Manalao of the Assistance to Nationals (ATN) of the Philippine Embassy headed by Rommel Romato, charge d’Affaires.