The local office of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) reported recently that it has recorded 50 cases of Palaweños who were abused while working overseas in 2018.
Jonathan Gerodias of the POEA in Palawan said there are still numerous requests for repatriation from residents of the province who are working as Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs)
He said a majority of the approved requests was because of the physical abuses committed against them.
“Marami-rami na tayong napauwi siguro umabot na ng 50. Marami rin ang may request for repatration. ‘Yong iba dahil hindi dumaan sa licensed recruitment agency at may iba naman na gumagawa lang ng dahilan para makauwi isa na dyan ‘yong mga na-ho-home sick,” he said.
He said that “homesickness” is also the usual reason for requests for repatriation of OFW, especially the first-timers.
“Bago namin tanggapin ang isang request for repatration ng isang kaanak, magulang, o kapatid ay pinag-aaralan po ng maigi ang kanilang reason. Kadalasan kasi talaga ay lumalabas lang na nalulungkot lang ang OFW particularly kapag first-timer,” Gerodias added.
Mostly, he said OFWs who are requesting for repatriation are from Middle East countries.
“Madalas talaga from the Middle East. Pero paalala lang na hindi lang ganoon kabilis [ang proseso] sa mga kababayan natin. Ang request sa amin ay ipapadala pa ‘yan sa Manila, may waiting period. Kung minsan mas matagal kapag walang agency na dinaanan ang OFW, especially those using tourist o worker visas,” Gerodias said.