OFW Victim of Labor Malpractices Pleads for Repatriation

Press Release
3 March 2010

“Since Annasban Group has no feedback to my complaints for not fulfilling their obligations and responsibility relating to my Employment Contract as written in Terms & Conditions which I submitted to your good office recently, I decided therefore that I am not interested to get a release from Annasban Company but I am willing to be repatriated in the Philippines as soon as possible,” said OFW Marissa Pajarillo Andes on her signed letter dated February 23, 2010 address to the Philippine Labor Attache who has the jurisdiction covering the Eastern Region, Saudi Arabia.

OFW Andes, 31 years old from General Natividad, Nueva Ecija, on her separate letter to Migrante-Al Khobar chapter said that she was deployed through M/s. Placewell Manpower Agency which office is located in Ermita, Manila. She arrived to work for her employer Annasban Company as a janitress on October 19, 2008.

On October 23, 2008, she said she was dispatched by her employer to Taif, Southern province of Saudi Arabia and stayed on the company accommodation until 3rd of November 2008. She was deployed for work on 4th November. But since the company has a standing “no work-no pay” policy, the 16 days she stayed since arrival to Saudi Arabia has not been paid to her.

Based on the Original Contract she had signed that was facilitated by Placewell Manpower Agency, she must be receiving a monthly salary of 750 Saudi riyals (SR) plus 187 SR for food allowance; but she manifested that this was never followed.

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She said she is only receiving SR650 for her monthly salary with SR160 deduction as payment for recruitment fee, and the food allowance given to her like many of her co-workers who are also complaining.

She also complained that if a worker has been sick and would report to her immediate Supervisor, their sick leave request will be disapproved, and since there is the standing “no work-no pay” policy, their salary will be deducted.

She lamented that if the company decided a worker to be assigned in other branch or job site, the worker’s salary will be deducted for the transportation cost.

On her letter dated 1st March to Migrante-Al Khobar chapter Secretary-General Gerry De Guzman, OFW Marissa P. Andes stated and we quote her saying:

“As you know, that I am not employed and my Iqama is expired already for 2 months, and I am not able to work and the uncertainty of where monetary income was coming as I could cope with the pressure which caused me to go into a deep depression.

Due to long pending in anticipation of Mr. Dicang’s coordination with Annasban, I was not able to sleep and I suffered from severe anxiety attacks resulted to loss of balance, fast heart beat, nightmares, a feeling of going, slurred speech, and head & body pains and I started shivering and my hands turned very stiff.

And these experiences trigger by something extremely traumatic for my whole night which has been taken place from 11:30 P.M. of February 26 up to 4:00 A.M. of February 27, 2010.

Basically, all I remember to this day is what I have been told I did & said. I have had a few flashbacks, more like nightmares, but it seems like a dream – not like something I did. What I was told that happened was – I came back after almost 5 hours.

I know it was caused by too much stress. I am experiencing symptoms of nervous breakdown may feel extreme tiredness, weakness, episodes of uncontrollable crying, confusion, disorientation and feelings of worthlessness; And mostly NOT ENOUGH ATTENTION.”

OFW Marissa Andes is under the close guidance of Migrante chapter in Al Khobar so as to provide her the needed assistance while she is waiting for the action to be taken by the concerned Philippine Labor officials.

On a related labor malpractice case against the same employer, the 5 distress OFWs (Rolmar Castaneda, Marietta Montano, Jane Gerarman, Leonor Agorilla, and Glory Barangan) employed as caregivers by the same company (M/s. Annasban Group) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia are starting their 1st day of hunger strike to protest the labor malpractices committed by their employer and the in-action and alleged neglect by the POLO-OWWA.

They have rejected the offer of their company that they should pay their deployment cost amounting to 5,000 Saudi riyals each as a condition for their repatriation.

John Leonard Monterona, Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator

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