Most of the Philippine embassy and labor officials are acting like a tourists, not as public servants.
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia - Migrante-Middle East, an alliance of Overseas Filipino workers, today slammed the Philippine Embassy officials in Riyadh and Consular officials in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia for not even acknowledging several cases that have been endorsed by the group's rights and welfare officers.
“We have been endorsing several cases of distress OFWs through emails and calls from the RP concerned officials at the Philippine embassy in Riyadh, but these were not even acknowledge,” said John Leonard Monterona, Migrante-Middle regional coordinator.
Monterona said for the past months they have been re-sending case referrals, twice and even third reminders, but still no reply from the concerned RP embassy officials.
He further said “when we called consular and labor and welfare officials on their mobile phones, the usual reply to us is that they have already submitted a report to the DFA-Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs (OUMWA), or to DoLE and that they are not allowed to give any information.”
Various Migrante chapters in the Middle East have been receiving request for assistance from distress OFWs to an average of 7 to ten cases daily.
In Saudi Arabia alone, it averages 5 cases daily, aside from the cases that have been referred to us by the families in the Philippines thru Migrante International-Philippine office.
Most of these cases are abused and maltreated domestic workers leading to rescue them from their abusive employers.
Monterona said this is the reason why Migrante case officers along with the victims have to come to the Philippine embassy for a case dialog to follow the updates of the cases that have been endorsed to the embassy, “otherwise we would not know if embassy officials are properly attending on cases we have endorsed to them,” he averred.
“Sad to say that what our distress OFWs are getting is lip service from Embassy officials who are in fact have the obligation to provide assistance to distress OFWs without dilly-dallying,” Monterona added.
“We are urging Pres. Aquino to do the 'cleaning' himself by institutionalizing an effective 'recall' system of inept and arrogant Embassy and consular officials abroad especially the various post in the Middle-East in line with his order to all concerned government agencies to attend OFWs woes and concerns,” Monterona ended. # # #
John Leonard Monterona
Migrante-Middle regional coordinator