Philippine labor officials in Saudi Arabia have rescued two runaway Filipino workers who said they were recruited as maids but were forced to work as animal caretakers, a Saudi news site reported Friday.
Citing information from the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Riyadh, Arab News said the two workers had worked for seven months in Hail and had not eaten for five days when they were rescued.
According to the two workers, they had been recruited as maids but were forced to care for animals. They added they only received SR800 instead of SR1,500 a month as specified in a labor pact signed between the Philippines and Saudi Arabia.
POLO had asked community leaders' help to aid the workers, who hid in a mountainous area. The two have been found and turned over to the POLO.
When found, the two appeared to have not eaten for five days and had only bottles of water with them.
Also, the two said they were recruited illegally as they flew from Manila to Iloilo, then to Mumbai and then to Saudi Arabia, instead of flying directly from the Philippines to the Kingdom.
Earlier, the POLO handled the case of two Filipinos who claimed they were recruited in Manila as dressmakers but rented out to work as housemaids for SR5,000 each.
The two in the earlier case also said they were paid SR1,200 to SR1,300 a month instead of the SR1,875 plus SR300 food allowance in their signed contracts. —Joel Locsin/KBK, GMA News