A Filipino domestic helper (DH) in Jeddah, Praycious Rhafa Toballes (a.k.a. Cristina Sanguyo Toballes) of Balanga, Bataan, is in a bind.
She wants to transfer to a new employer but her current sponsor is asking too much to release her.
“Ang amo kong mag-asawa, Muhammad at Roah, ay humihingi ng SD (Saudi Riyal) 20,000 (US$5,318) hanggang SR30,000 (US$7,977)” she said in a recent dawn chat.
(My husband-and-wife employers, Muhammad and Roah, are asking from SR20,000 to SR30,000 to release me.)
She said her new employer, whose name she did not know yet, would have difficulty paying the amount.
She said that when she disclosed her plan to transfer sponsorship, the wife told her to stop working and eating food from the house.
She said that, in fact, she had been buying her own food because she did not like the food prepared for her employers, which consisted mostly of laham (lamb meat).
Toballes said Muhammad wanted to take her Iqama (residence certificate) and passport and bring these to the agency so he could ask for the amount he wanted for her transfer and ask for a new DH at the same time.
“Mag-uusap pa naman si Muhammad at bago kong employer para sa paglipat ko,” she said.
(Muhammad and my new employer still have to meet to discuss my transfer.)
I told her that we could only move to help her after the meeting of her current and new employers.
I also said that we would probably ask the help of the Consulate under Consul General Edgar Tomas “Gary “ Q. Auxilian.