Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Repost From GMA News.TV

OFW mother and daughter in UAE freed, seek help with repatriation

A mother and her daughter, both Filipino domestic workers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) who have recently finished serving their sentences for abandoning their “abusive" employer, are now seeking the assistance of the Philippine Embassy there for their repatriation. In an e-mail sent to GMANews.TV, a woman who said she was a friend of workers Mariam Calvez and her daughter Roxanne said the two are currently detained in a Dubai jail, but now allowed to return to the Philippines.

The problem, however, is that the two are unable to raise funds for their tickets, according to the Calvezes’ friend. Assistance to Nationals officer Carlito Dizon of the Philippine Consulate General in Dubai told GMANews.TV in an interview that Roxanne called him Tuesday to inform him that they are currently at an immigration detention center in Dubai, and that their passports are missing. According to Dizon, he has yet to reach the Calvezes’ former employer to ask about their passports, but said Roxanne did not mention anything about funding their repatriation. He added the Embassy may not have sufficient funds to repatriate the two, as there are hundreds of OFWs in the Middle Eastern country who need repatriation. “In Dubai alone, there are over 200 Filipinos who are waiting to be repatriated," Dizon explained, adding that the Embassy will likewise ask the Calvezes’ former employer if he can shoulder the ticket costs. Philippine Consul General Adelio Cruz earlier said in a separate e-mail to GMANews.TV that the two ran away from their employer in Abu Dhabi in September 2009, as they complained that they had not received their salary (two months for Mariam and four months for Roxanne). The two also complained of physical injuries inflicted on Roxanne, insufficient food and overwork. Cruz said the Calvezes went to Dubai and took on part-time jobs. In January this year however, the house they were staying in was raided by the UAE’s Criminal Investigation Division. Cases of absconding and theft were then filed against them by their former employer, who alleged that the two stole 70,000 UAE dirhams (about P880,000) and diamond jewelry. According to Cruz, the Calvezes were originally detained at Dubai Central Prison and then transferred to the Al Wathba Central Prison in Abu Dhabi where they stayed until recently. In a separate interview, an official of the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi said that in the past, the UAE government would ask businessmen in the country to sponsor the tickets of migrant workers there who need to be repatriated. “However, given the recent economic crisis, corporations here are not that willing to donate money for the repatriation of workers," said the official who requested anonymity. She added they have yet to hear about the status of Mariam and Roxanne, but said they may have been victims of a false accusation by their employer. “What usually happens here is that when workers run away and eventually get arrested, their previous employers would file any case against them, even if the charge is not true, just for the sake of getting back at them," the official explained.—JV, GMANews.TV

Reposted From GMA News.TV

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