Friday May 10, 2019
A Filipina worker in Saudi Arabia who was tied to a tree by her employer as punishment has been repatriated to the Phillipines.
Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) Lovely Acosta Baruelo suffered the indignity in the Saudi capital of Riyadh Thursday.
A picture of the worker tied to the tree was circulated widely on Facebook the same day with fellow Filipinos asking for help on her behalf.
“The Department of Foreign Affairs reports that OFW Lovely Acosta Baruelo from Saudi Arabia arrived in Manila at 8:55 PM on May 9 2019,” the Government department said in a statement.
“The Philippine Embassy in Riyadh reported that the case of OFW Baruelo was referred to them on May 9 and she was repatriated on the same day.
“OFW Baruelo was allegedly punished by her employer by being tied to a tree.”
Many Filipino workers suffer exploitation in the Middle East, where they often work as domestic and retail staff or as nannies.
Last year, Kuwait said it stands ready to co-operate with the Philippines to address labour issues facing Filipino workers.
The comments came in response to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's announcement that Filipino workers would be permanently banned from heading to Kuwait after the deaths of several women, including 29-year-old Joanna Demafelis. More than 260,000 Filipinos work in Kuwait.
Earlier this year a Halifax businessman was handed a two year prison sentence for exploiting foreign workers.
Hector Mantolino, originally from the Philippines, pleaded guilty in December 2017 to misrepresentation under provisions of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
The owner of several cleaning and maintenance companies, Mantolino used the temporary foreign worker program to bring 28 workers to Canada from the Philippines over a number of years.