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Filipino Workers Who Turned to Embassy Complain of Maltreatment in Syria
Overworked and underpaid, domestic helper Analiza Muaña, 32, escaped from her employer in Syria.
Not only did she clean the house but she also took care of the children, did the laundry and other household chores. She also cleaned the house of her employer’s relatives. Her employer did not provide her three meals a day and was paid a measly $175 salary instead of $400 as stated in her contract.
On June 5, 2011, she escaped and went to the Philippine embassy there to seek refuge. The Philippine embassy endorsed her to prison because her employer reported her to the authorities. She stayed at the cramped jail for a week before she was released. She went back to the Philippine embassy but her nightmare did not end there.
Muaña’s experience is not isolated. Other overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Syria also received the same treatment she got from the Philippine embassy. It is as though they were going from one hell to another.
Muaña met several other OFWs at the temporary house called the Filipino Workers Resource Centers (FWRCs) in the Philippine embassy.
They were denied a decent meal. “They measure everything. We eat one cup of rice, chicken bones or one slice of eggplant as viand and soup while they (the embassy official) eat good food,” Muaña said.
Another domestic helper, Arlene Castillo, 37, who also stayed at the temporary shelter, corroborated Muaña’s testimony. “They prohibited us from buying groceries even as the food they gave was not enough. We were also prohibited to go outside of the embassy. In the morning, we would only eat half of the Arabic bread and tea,” Castillo told Bulatlat.com.
Continue reading at Bulatlat