Sad tales of OFWs from NorthCot prompt mother to seek return of daughter

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/1 Oct) – The sad tales of two overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from North Cotabato who died working in the Middle East prompted a 41-year-old mother to seek the help of the government to facilitate the safe return of her daughter who is working as a domestic helper in Malaysia.

It has pressed all the more Norma Jumawan, of Barangay San Vicente in Makilala, North Cotabato, to ask for assistance from the regional office of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) when daughter Genevie, 23, told her that she is being maltreated by her Malaysian employer since December last year.

Jumawan wanted to save Genevie from suffering the same fate as Romelyn Eroy Ibanez of Arakan town and Janice Joy Pampangan of Makilala town.

Ibanez died of acid burns and stab wounds while Pampangan, according to her family, suffered abuses from her Arab employer that caused her death.

The remains of Pampangan, whose family lives near the village where the Jumawans reside, arrived home last September 16 while Ibanez’s body has yet to arrive in the Philippines, reports said.

The last time Jumawan talked to her daughter was September 7, a day before Ibanez was reported to have died.

“My daughter Genevie told me her employer was treating her badly. She was crying to me over the phone and has asked for help,” Jumawan said.

Genevie left behind a three-year-old son when she went to Malaysia last December.

Jumawan said it was only last April that her daughter sent her money.

“I just hope it won’t be the last. I’m praying hard my daughter would return home safe,” the sobbing mother said.

When Jumawan’s case reached Rolando Coquia, officer-in-charge of the programs and services division of OWWA-12, he immediately designated his staff in Makilala town to get the necessary details so they could lay down plans to save Genevie if indeed she is abused or being maltreated in Malaysia.

The OWWA usually contacts the recruitment agency of the OFW, gets the OFW’s contact details, name and address of the employer and other necessary information.

“Whatever information we gather from the field we usually submit these to the Philippines Overseas Labor Office in the country where the OFW is working,” said Coquia. “We could not allow more OFWs to return home dead. That pains us so much,” he added. (Malu Cadeliña Manar / MindaNews)