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Abused OFW in Jeddah survives on food from trash

A Filipino household worker in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on Friday claimed she survived on food from the garbage after her employer locked her up without food for six days.

Gina Abcede who has been rescued by the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in KSA, told GMA News Online she was forced to eat food from the garbage to keep herself up after being starved for a week.


Labor Attache Nasser Munder chats with Gina Abcede at the POLO headquarters in Jedda. --Ronaldo Concha
Labor Attache Nasser Munder chats with Gina Abcede at the POLO headquarters in Jedda. --Ronaldo Concha


"Pagka-sixth day na wala akong makain kasi naka-padlock ako gabi-gabi, para akong magko-collapse na talaga ... walang tutulong sa akin. Paano kung mamamatay ako? Iniisip ko na lang po na pumunta sa basura po kasi meron naman po yung ibinabasura ko na tira-tira ng mga amo ko, yun na lang naisipan ko para makainom din ako ng gamot, kinain ko talaga yung basura," Abcede narrated her ordeal.

According to her, the food she scavenged made her survive until the seventh day, adding that she took a video of her scouring for food in the garbage bin.  Abcede also showed GMA News the video which has gone viral online.

She said, when she finally took courage to confront her employer why she was starved, her boss said she was punished for not doing a request of her employer's child and for asking for a day-off.

With the help of group Ang Kaagapay Ng Bawat OFW Advocates, POLO officials in Jeddah had set out to rescue her.

Abcede, who had worked for two years at her employer's house, thanked all those who helped and rescued her.

"Masaya na po ako. Ang gaan ng feeling ko po kasi naka labas na po ako ng bahay ng employer ko," she said.

Meanwhile, Labor Attache Nasser Munder lauds all those who helped in Abcede's timely rescue.

Munder called on all distressed OFWs in the Kingdom to immediately inform the POLO of any problems regarding their work, adding that Abcede's repatriation is being processed. —Ronaldo Concha/LBG, GMA News