37 distressed Pinoy maids, seafarers return home

02/20/2009 | 05:08 PM

MANILA, Philippines – A total of 37 overseas Filipino workers (OFW) have ended their ordeals overseas as they returned to the Philippines on Thursday.

Thirty-one of the 37 Filipino workers who came back home were domestic helpers who complained of abuse from their employers in Saudi Arabia.

Helen Sarasaen told GMA News that she worked for ten months as a domestic helper in the Saudi Arabian capital city, Riyadh, but not once did she receive pay or food for her service.

“Mahirap mag-abroad, sana mabigyan kami ng trabaho, sana mabigyan ng pagkakataon, mahirap talaga doon,” she said in a report aired over Q’s Balitanghali.

[It’s really hard to work abroad. I hope we would be given jobs, I hope we would still be given a chance, it’s really difficult to work there.]

Domestic helper Judith Camporedondo suffered the same fate as she was not paid by her employer either, prompting her to run away and decide not to work abroad anymore.

“Nagpunta ‘dun para maghanap ng pera ganun pa rin, mahirap talaga mag-abroad, kung katulong ka lang, maltratuhin ka pa, tatlong oras lang tulog mo,” she told GMA News.

[I went there to earn money but nothing changed, it’s really hard to work abroad, if you’re just a helper, you’ll be abuses, you’ll get to sleep for only three hours.]

The other OFWs who returned home were identified as Betty Bengson, Shiela Adalin, Marife Anillo, Gloria A. Delos Santos, Esperanza Mejia, Shirly Punzalan, Raquilyn T. Canoy, Nenalyn Deseo, Lina Johnny, Aurelia Macalalad, Cristeta Abratique Pelagio, Paquita Canlas Baldera, Josephine Obera, Ma. Teresa Granada.

Cherie May Palinguba, Loreta Monares Genosas, Marilez Dalagon, Anglyn Diaz Gardose, Shahad Cabaluna, Sammra S. Dagadas, Norma Saligan Madaliday, Ofelia Urbanuzo, Mariyan Abdulla, Emraiza Abiar, Noria Salik Akmad, Olga Elnar, Juvaina A. Aron, Shermina Najaalun, and Ruth Maranoc Escopete.

Senator Manuel Villar reportedly paid for the repatriation of the 31 women.

In addition, six of the nine stranded Filipino seafarers in Nigeria have also returned to the Philippines on Thursday.

The nine seafarers were part of the 18-man crew on board M/T Meredith that was hijacked by pirates on January 21 at the Bonny Terminal in Nigeria. The ship is owned by Corinthian Maritime SA, Golden Carrier Shipping and Maritime Management Synergy SA.

“Nagsidatingan yung mga pirata, pinagmamaso ‘yung pintuan, dahil sarado tapos pinapasabog ‘yung iba makapasok lang sila. Sa pagkakataong iyon walang nasaktan sa amin kasi nakatago kami,” Rogelion Andalit told GMA News.

[The pirates arrived, they destroyed the doors that were closed but not one of us got hurt because we were hiding.]

The other five seamen were identified as Raymon de Domingo, Gloriand Sales, Michael Domingo, Alfredo Ferrer, and Jebb Alonte. The Filipino crewmen were reportedly contracted by local manning agency Seagem Maritime Int’l.

Six more distressed OFWs are set to return to the Philippines from Riyadh next week, while three more Filipino seamen (Novelito Trapsi, Elmer Cruz, and George Parreño) remain in Nigeria. – Kimberly Jane T. Tan, GMANews.TV

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