GMA News Online
Pinoy Abroad

15 runaway Filipino domestic workers 'trapped' in Oman

November 24, 2008 1:36pm

Tags: Oman
MANILA, Philipppines - At least 15 Filipino maids have found themselves trapped in Muscat after running away from their employers in the United Arab Emirates, an online news site reported Monday.

Khaleej Times reported that the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Abu Dhabi and Muscat are working to stop the transport of such workers from UAE to Oman.

The report said the 15 Filipino maids who ran away from their employers in the UAE due to abuse and employers' disregard for contracts are now with the POLO in Muscat.

Labor Attaché Nasser Munder, head of the POLO in Abu Dhabi, said his office is locating the agencies who hired the 15 runaway maids' in Manila to demand air tickets for their repatriation.

On the other hand, Munder said five manpower agencies based in Dubai and Al Ain were found transporting runaway Filipino maids from UAE to Muscat.

He said the agencies have been supplying these workers to Omani employers already blacklisted by the POLO there.

"We have already met with these manpower agencies, but they claim that they have not forced these maids to shift to Oman. The Dubai and Al Ain manpower agencies have linked up with recruitment agencies in Muscat for this," he said.

Philippine Ambassador to Oman Akmad Omar said he had already made diplomatic representation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Oman to compel employers to secure a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the POLO in Muscat before processing the employment visas of the Filipino domestic servants.

Earlier, the POLO in Muscat blacklisted a number of employers for maltreating and verbally, sexually and physically abusing their Filipino maids.

"Now, they go for direct hiring through manpower agencies in Dubai and Al Ain as they can no longer hire and recruit from Manila," Omar told the Khaleej Times.

The runaway maids from the UAE were being supplied to employers in Muscat.

"They are like table tennis balls, bandied about from one player to another. This is unacceptable," he said.

Omar said that during interrogation, the maids claimed that they were forced by their agencies to go to Oman after they sought help for transfer to other employers in the UAE due to abuses.

UAE and Omani immigration officials do not question a domestic help crossing the borders because Arab families normally travel with their maids when they go on holidays. - GMANews.TV

Tags: Oman