Bello hurls invective after learning plight of distressed OFWs in Saudi Arabia
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III on Thursday expressed his frustration over the pitiful plight of distressed overseas Filipino workers from in Saudi Arabia, a report GMA News TV's State of the Nation said.
Bello slammed the "system" that overlooked the issue after hearing the stories of the distressed OFWs, such as the 38 year old Filipina who suffered a heart attack after meeting her employer that sexually harassed her.
"Galit. P----- i--, kung wala pang nag text sa akin e hindi pa naasikaso ito e. Dito ang pagkukulang kung minsan nang ating sistema," said Bello, who went to Saudi Arabia to check on distressed Filipinos there.
Fourteen OFWs from Jeddah returned to the Philippines on Thursday after being stranded for months.
The distressed OFWs said that they went unpaid for months, and that they were not given their benefits even after working in Saudi companies for years.
Rene Ramirez, one of the repatriated OFWs, said that he chose the offer of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to be repatriated instead of waiting for his salary and benefits.
He said his parents were sick.
"Yung magulang ko may sakit. Talaga pong nag-desisyon na lang po akong umuwi para makapaghanap po ng bagong trabaho," Ramirez said.
Another OFW, Arnold Samonte, said that seven months with salary prompted him to rummage through trash for food.
Now, he is considering working in the Philippines to care for his family, but expressed dismay over the number of Filipinos that are unemployed or are making do with low salaries.
"Titignan na rin kung pwede pa rito kasi marami ring walang trabaho sa atin eh. Mababa rin ang sweldo," Samonte said. —NB, GMA News