JEDDAH – A Filipino electrician survived after electrocuting himself out of desperation in Saudi Arabia.
Edgar Magwate has given up hope of ever resolving his problems. He has been staying at the so-called Tent City for several months now after leaving his employer.
Magwate said he pawned his house and lot and loaned money just to be able to work in the kingdom as an electrician.
But his bid for a better future failed when his salary was delayed and he was not given an iqama. He also suffered culture shock in Saudi Arabia.
Magwate said he was not prepared for the job and the culture of his host country. He admitted that he left the Philippines without going through the Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS).
"Galing kami sa Lanao, pagdating namin sa Maynila tapos ibinigay nila itong certificate na ito sa PDOS, tapos sabi nila, bukas na lang sa airport mag-PDOS. Tapos walang nangyari, hindi kami na-orient," Magwate said.
Administrator Carmelita Dimzon of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) said that what Magwate experienced was likely to happen to OFWs whose agencies are in a rush to deploy them overseas.
"Maaring sa pagmamadali siguro, binigyan na lang siya ng certificate kahit hindi siya nag-attend ng seminar. Pwedeng mangyari iyon, pero bawal iyon. It's a violation ng rule ng POEA (Philippine Overseas Labor Office) at ng OWWA, na hindi dapat magbigay ng Certificate of Attendance na hindi naman naga-attend. Masama iyon at nanloloko iyon," Dimzon said.
Dimzon also appealed to OFWs to report to them agencies that are not providing their workers with the proper orientation before leaving the country.
"Huwag na nilang pabayaan na sila ay makaalis pa at magtagal doon. Mag-complain sila, kasi kailangan natin habulin ang agency. Kailangan maparusahan ang agency na hindi gumagawa ng hindi tama," she said.
Dimzon urged workers to report to them if their agencies failed to provide them with PDOS.
"Huwag na nilang pabayaan na sila ay makaalis pa at magtagal doon tapos magko-complain sila kasi kailangan nating habulin yung agency. Kailangang maparusahan yung agency na gumagawa ng mga ganitong bagay," said Dimzon.
The OWWA chief stressed that education is the best weapon for OFWs. Report from Charles Tabbu, ABS-CBN Middle East News Bureau