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Pinoy Abroad

OFW jumps from Dubai building's 3rd floor to escape agency

An overseas Filipino worker (OFW) in Dubai jumped from the third floor of a building where she claimed she was being held against her will by her employment agency.

In a Sunday report on GMA 7 news program "24 Oras Weekend", the Filipina worker pleaded for help so she could return to the Philippines.

"Sa mama ko po, Ma, tulungan niyo naman ako dito para agad akong makauwi dahil gusto ko na ring gumaling. Hirap na hirap po ako dito. 'Yung mga anak gusto ko na ring makita," the worker said tearfully.

The Filipina worker arrived in Dubai last December, and was picked up from the airport and brought immediately to her agency.

She was promised that she would have an employer. But she claimed that weeks passed with no such patron, and she was being held captive by her agency without food.

"Isang linggo po ako doon - walang pagkain, kinukulong po kami," she said.

"Tumalon po ako sa third floor. Hindi ko na rin po inisip kung mamamatay po ako basta't makatakas lang po ako don sa agency na 'yun."

Another Filipino brought her to the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Dubai for assistance getting her back home to the Philippines. But this was not possible as her passport was still being held by the agency.

"Pakiusap naman don sa nagpa-alis sakin, ibalik 'yung passport ko. 'Yun lang hinihingi ko, 'yung passport ko lang po," she said.

For its part, the POLO urged overseas workers to ensure that they only enter into contracts with employers accredited by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).

"Kung may nangangako po sa inyo ng trabaho, tiyakin niyo po na ito ay isang lisensyadong ahensya at 'yun pong employer ay accredited din ng POEA," said Felicitas Bay, Labor Attache of the POLO Dubai. — Jon Viktor Cabuenas/DVM, GMA News