DAVAO CITY – A group of migrant workers asked presidential candidate Mayor Rodrigo Duterte what he can do with inept Philippine officials abroad.
John Leonard Monterona, coordinator of Migrante Middle East said that “there were numerous complaints coming from the distressed, stranded, and undocumented overseas Filipino workers whose request for on-site assistance have not been properly attended, if not neglected at all, in numerous instances.”
Monterona cited as example the recent incident of four distressed and ran away women OFWs who have sought shelter at the Philippine consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The women, Monterona said, were “dragged and thrown out the Philippine consulate building.”
The four posted a more than 1-minute video lamenting the “inhumane” treatment by the Philippine consulate that has gone viral in social networking sites with 790,000 views as of this writing.
After the intervention of Migrante, the four were permitted to stay at the Filipino Workers Resource Center (FWRC) inside the Philippine consulate the following day
Monterona also said at least 86 stranded male OFWs staying the Philippine embassy-rented estraha (villa) in Riyadh are in “deplorable condition”.
“For the past days, there were heavy rains and the make-shifts made up of trapals (used tarpaulins) were damaged due to heavy rains. Thus, water sipped inside their beds sheets, and those in the empty swimming pools got soaked,” Monterona said.
He said some officials of the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency who are in Riyadh along with some embassy and labor officials visited the stranded OFWs in Exit 8 estraha on Sunday.
“We hope that the POEA officials visit will help facilitate the repatriation of the 86 stranded OFWs without further delay,” Monterona said.
Monterona said they want to hear a “straight answer” from Duterte who they see as “outspoken on what he feels.
Duterte on Monday delivered his speech during his proclamation as the PDP-Laban presidential candidate.
But Monterona said they also ask the same question on other presidential aspirants.
“We really want the imposition of rules to weed out inept Philippine officials abroad,” said Monterona.(davaotoday.com)