Tuesday, February 19, 2008

50 duped OFWs scavenge for food in Kuwait dustbins -- NGO

50 duped OFWs scavenge for food in Kuwait dustbins -- NGO

By Jerome Aning
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippiness -- A Hong Kong-based migrant workers’ group appealed to the government on Tuesday to do something about 50 Filipino workers reduced to scavenging garbage in Kuwait after being duped by their employer.

The overseas Filipino workers, according to the Asia Pacific Migrants Mission, have resorted to eating expired foodstuff and scavenging sellable items from waste bins just to survive.

APMM said the OFWs were employed by the Gulf Link Transport Co. but subcontracted to different employers as cleaners.
"They have been in Kuwait for three months and a number of them have either not been paid or their salaries have been delayed. Their placement agency is ironically named Great Provider Service Exporters Inc.,” APMM coordinator Gi Estrada said in a statement from Hong Kong.

For those who do get paid, their salaries are reduced from 60 Kuwaiti Dinars (about US$220.50) to only 44 (US$161.70) a month because of illegal deductions. "That’s lower than the monthly wage of a domestic helper here,” Estrada added.
Last Saturday, Migrante-Dubai accompanied more than 40 other victims of labor contract violations in the United Arab Emirate’s commercial capital, to the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO). In Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, about 100 OFWs are stranded under a bridge and are awaiting deportation.

John Leonard Monterona, Migrante-Middle East said they would seek a Senate hearing on the OFW experiences and the alleged negligence and incompetence of some Filipino embassy officials. ###