We can’t deny that there are reports of maltreatment and abuse to our Filipina Domestic Helpers employed in foreign countries especially in the Middle East.
Maltreatment and abuse is a serious matter that needs urgent attention from government agencies that oversees the welfare of our less fortunate Filipina household helps.
Many of our runaway maids complains that they were maltreated by their employers, however, without any signs of physical abuse these could not be attributed to a maltreatment case. There must be a medical examinations required to identify if there is a convincing evidence of abuse to a person. Shouting and humiliating remarks is not a deliberate act of abuse or maltreatment. An employer has the right to scold or to reprimand a household help on a mistake or error to a certain task not according to what they expect.
To improve their dignity in the eyes of their employers, the Philippine Government in accordance with the new policy of the deployment of Filipino household service workers, made sure that FHSW are competent or experienced more particularly in the use of household equipments prior to their deployment. Training program for this purpose is necessary to upgrade the skills of Filipinos going abroad as domestic helpers.
Back to our subject matter, physical signs of abuse are very important as basis to prove such complain. Though, no proper meals, confinement, social isolation, dirty accommodations are some factors that can be recognized as psychological maltreatment.
Thus a complaint on maltreatment and abuse is a serious matter.
Some of our distressed female OFWs so with other nationalities employed as domestic helps complain of maltreatment against their employer in the absence of accurate occurrence of physical and psychological abuse. It means there was intent to make a false accusation in exchange of their desire to go home because of homesickness or stress.
As a community leader, I received calls from our kababayan asking for help due to maltreatment. What I am trying to imply here is; complain of maltreatment is very serious allegations. Filipino Community organizations and individuals willing to lend a hand to those in needs should be cautious and verify first the exact situation of any distress calls. Physical appearance and the way would be complainant narrates her ordeal in the hands of her employer are just a few of many things that we should observe in verifying the authenticity of any given story.
I have one experienced that after rescuing a call of maltreatment, the distressed OFW escaped from the care of Filipino Workers Resource Center and ran-away with her text mate boyfriend. After what had happen I entertained such grievances carefully, especially coming from a third party concern.
I am not saying that we will not heed of any such calls or request for assistance but we should be careful and see to it that our help are worthy enough.
I just want to remind those kababayan who wants to work as a domestic helper abroad that making a fool out of yourselves does not make any good, instead it may put you more in serious trouble. If you are really maltreated and abused, call your nearest embassy or consulate, POLO and OWWA offices or your relatives at home should make a personal appeal to DFA and other government entities that oversees the plight of OFWs.