Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III ordered the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration to investigate a recruitment agency representative for allegedly raping an overseas Filipino worker in Jeddah.
The Labor chief also instructed the POEA to look into complaints by some overseas Filipino jobseekers who were being forced to work more than 10 hours in different households.
The Department of Labor and Employment received a report from Philippine Overseas Labor Office Jeddah Labor Attache Nasser Munder, which said that four household service workers were forced to work for more than 10 hours in different households and render another two hours of duty at the household of their employer.
The Labor secretary identified them as Samra Musa Lidasan, Lyn Silongan Sali, Norhen Gayo Sarat, and Noraima Mamadra Bandara.
The report showed the four ran away from their employer and sought refuge at the Migrant Workers and Other Overseas Filipinos Resource Center in Jeddah on March 1, 2019.
According to the Labor secretary, they held legitimate Iqamas, and yet they were compelled to work as cleaners. An iqama is a residence permit issued to expatriates who arrive in Saudi Arabia on an employment visa.
Munder also reported an alleged rape case involving a 22-year-old OFW, only identified as “Saida” by her agency representative on Dec. 28, 2018.
The victim is staying at Bahay Kalinga while the case is being handled by the Assistance to Nationals Section of PCG Jeddah.
Both cases involved the Saudi Recruitment Agency Madar Al Kharj Recruitment Agency, and Philippine Recruitment Agency Iemploy Manpower Services Inc.
Munder has recommended the suspension and cancellation of the licenses of the concerned recruitment agencies.
Bello vowed to prosecute the employers and recruitment agencies who deceived the overseas Filipino jobseekers.
The labor secretary has also directed the POEA to immediately report the developments and results of the investigation to authorize appropriate sanctions on both recruitment agencies.