The labor group Trade Union Congress of the Philippines on Wednesday slammed the Department of Labor and Employment, the Department of Foreign Affairs, Philippine Overseas and Employment Administration, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration and the recruitment agencies for having ineffective and different hotlines for distress OFWs, thus confusing Filipino workers on whom to call for help.
TUCP spokesperson Alan Tanjusay made the revelation after the congressional hearing on the case of murdered household helper Jeanelyn Villavende, who was brutally raped and murdered by her Kuwaiti employer.
“Their overall testimonies reveal the government response to troubled OFWs does not have established proven protocols and mechanism. The DOLE, the DFA, the recruiter, the POEA, and the OWWA have different turfs and approaches that do not guarantee the safety of OFWs.
“They’re so ineffective that troubled OFWs often come home in an aluminum box,” Tanjusay said.
The hearing also discovered that these government agencies have different communication hotline numbers that distressed OFWs is unable to memorize or dial especially when assault is apparent, he said.
“There is a brimming need for a massive overhaul of government response to OFWs in distress,” Tanjusay said, adding, “there is a need to forge a common, unified and adaptive government mechanism to save our modern-day heroes particularly the Household Service Workers from abuses and attacks.”
“The overhaul must be right away before another one comes back home in a box,” Tanjusay said.
The labor group said the government executives’ fundamental weaknesses to help troubled overseas Filipino workers were brought to the fore after the gory details of violence inflicted on Villavende.
In a report by the National Bureau of Investigation it showed that Villavende was raped, with contusions on her both legs indicating her rapist inflicted pain using hard object to lessen her resistance.
NBI examiners found a piece of broken wood in her anus, according to Tanjusay who have seen the autopsy pictures presented in the hearing.
The autopsy report showed she was also sodomized by her assailant using a piece of wood into her anal opening as evidenced by the contusions and by a piece of wood left inside her vagina. She also suffered several contusions at her back indicating submission to her assailant.
The NBI forensic also found that Jeanelyn’s brains and internal organs were missing. The heavily emaciated body of Jeanelyn also revealed she was famished and so emaciated she have not eaten for weeks prior to her actual death on Dec. 28, 2019, to a point that the step-mother of Jeanylyn cannot identify her face and appearance when she was called to identify the victim, Tanjusay said.
“In short, she was raped and killed by monsters—inhumanly abused and brutally killed by her assailants,” he said.