The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is eyeing sanctions on the Kuwaiti employer whose alleged abuses drove a Filipina maid to jump off the second floor of her employer’s house.
DOLE Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz ordered Labor Attache to Kuwait David Des Dicang to investigate the case, and if warranted, delist the employer, and suspend the accreditation of the agency that recruited the OFW.
"I have ordered Labor Attache Dicang to send me a report on the progress of the case at once and, also if warranted, with a recommendation to the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration to suspend the license of the Philippine recruitment agency (PRA) that deployed OFW Margie Pontanillas and require it to send her repatriation ticket so she can go home," Baldoz said in a news release.
The DOLE cited earlier reports indicating Pontanillas jumped from the second floor of her employer's house last July 16 to avoid further abuse.
She had bruises on her left arm and wounds both on her feet, but she managed to get a taxi which ferried her to the Philippine Overseas Labor Office where she sought assistance.
Pontanillas, 33, a native of Carmen, Davao del Norte, was reported to have arrived in Kuwait in February 2011 to work a household service worker.
She left her first employer after a year, was returned to the foreign placement agency that received her and which deployed her to the second employer who turned out to be abusive.
She allegedly had a fight with her female employer - the second wife of her male sponsor - who bit her left arm.
Pontanillas then jumped from the window of her sponsor's second-floor residence. Her fall resulted in swollen and wounded feet.
The POLO that brought her to the nearby Mubarak Al Kabir Hospital, and later transferred her to the Al Razi Hospital where she is now recuperating.
"I am sorry and sad that this unfortunate incident happened to Ms. Pontanillas. Abusive employers who maltreat Filipino workers at the very first hint should never be allowed again to hire OFWs," Baldoz said.
Meanwhile, Baldoz directed the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration to determine the liability of United Placeman Philippines, Inc., the placement agency that deployed Pontanillas to Kuwait.
OWWA head Carmelita Dimzon informed Baldoz that on July 31, Pontanillas was supposedly scheduled for hospital discharge.
But in observance of the Ramadan, no police investigator was on duty at that time to issue a police clearance.
Baldoz said welfare officer and Philippine Embassy officer Muama Hassan was to visit Pontanillas again Thursday for her eventual hospital discharge.
"She will stay temporarily at the Filipino Workers Resource Center while awaiting repatriation to the Philippines. The employer has expressed willingness to pay OFW Pontanilla's hospital bills," added Dimzon. - VVP, GMA News