HK OFWs demand recall of labor attaché for misdeeds on OFW concerns,

Neglect of migrants with impunity must stop

 

 

Posted: October 26, 2010

 

 

 

 

 

 

The exposé was triggered by the complaint of OFW Agnes Tenorio who approached the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in HK for assistance but instead received a rude treatment from Labatt Salud. The conversation where the Labatt was quoted saying ‘wag mong gagamitin yang karapatan. Dahil karapatan ko rin… kung tatanggapin kita o hindi. Wag mong pagdidiinan mo sa akin yang karapatan mo ha?’  [Don’t use the word “right”. Because it is also my right if I am going to accept you or not. Don’t use the word “right” on me, ha?] was recorded by Tenorio.

 

-- From press release

   
   
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Photos courtesy of UNIFIL-Migrante HK
           
           

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Press Release

26 October 2010

 

For reference:   Dolores Balladares-Pelaez

       Chairperson, Tel. No.: 97472986

 

 

HK OFWs demand recall of labor attaché for misdeeds on OFW concerns

Neglect of migrants with impunity must stop

 

“Labor Attaché to HK Romulo Salud has insulted, neglected, and aggrieved OFWs one time too many and must be recalled from his post. We call on the Philippine government to finally make accountable officials who have done misconducts and have showcased their disregard of the rights and wellbeing of Filipino migrant workers. Neglect and transgressions on the rights of OFWs with impunity must stop.”

 

This was declared today by Dolores Balladares, chairperson of the United Filipinos in Hong Kong (UNIFIL-MIGRANTE-HK), in a press conference to expose the rude and insensitive treatment of Labatt Salud to OFWs in distress as well as to call for better treatment of Filipino migrant workers.

 

The exposé was triggered by the complaint of OFW Agnes Tenorio who approached the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in HK for assistance but instead received a rude treatment from Labatt Salud. The conversation where the Labatt was quoted saying ‘wag mong gagamitin yang karapatan. Dahil karapatan ko rin… kung tatanggapin kita o hindi. Wag mong pagdidiinan mo sa akin yang karapatan mo ha?’  [Don’t use the word “right”. Because it is also my right if I am going to accept you or not. Don’t use the word “right” on me, ha?] was recorded by Tenorio.

 

The actual recording and transcript was posted by the group in Youtube and is being circulated in Facebook.

 

“Let it be known that the official whose major job is to uphold the rights of Filipino workers is in reality contemptuous to OFWs and their rights. We have heard of complaints even before against Labatt Salud and the truth of these reports is now evident. He must be made accountable for his conduct grossly unbecoming of a public official. He should be axed from his post and should not be given anymore position abroad or in the Philippines where the rights and wellbeing of Filipino workers are at stake,” Balladares declared.

 

Balladares reported that they already wrote to DOLE Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz and reported the incident.

 

“We await for the urgent action of Secretary Baldoz. Labatt Salud should not be allowed to stay for even one more day in his post where he can verbally abuse OFWs already facing problems with employers and recruitment agencies,” she remarked.

 

Balladares added that they have also started coordinating with the Gabriela Women’s Party (GWP) in the Philippines and Migrante International to lobby for investigation and immediate actions on the conduct of overseas Philippine officials on matters of OFW concerns.

 

“In the past months, complaints against public officials overseas have been expressed including the call against DFA Secretary Alberto Romulo’s retention, the complaint against the poor performance and lavish lifestyle of Amb. Rigoberto Tiglao in Greece and the complaint of OFWs in Macau against Consul General Renato Villapando who snubbed their request for a dialogue on OFW concerns. Now comes this grave misdeed of Labatt Salud. These complaints should not go unanswered and these erring officials should not go unpunished,” Balladares said.

 

Balladares expressed the group’s concern that “there is a prevailing culture of impunity in the Philippine when it comes to Filipino migrant’s issues.”

 

“Nobody is made answerable to many ills that plague OFWs from irresponsibility to policies detrimental to our rights. Passport price is still sky-high, overcharging remains rampant, OWWA is still inutile, and just recently, the threat of budget cut hangs over our head ready to deplete the already small funds for our welfare. The Aquino government should put to task all who are responsible for the different concerns of OFWs. Ultimately, it is his government who will answer to Filipino migrants,” Balladares concluded.

 


<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
The Secretariat
United Filipinos in Hong Kong (UNIFIL-MIGRANTE-HK)
2/F., New Hall, St. John's Cathedral,
4 Garden Road, Central, Hong Kong SAR
Tel. (852) 3156-2447     Fax. (852) 2526-2894
E-mail: secretariat@unifil.org.hk
Website: http://www.unifil.org.hk
Blog: compatriots.blogspot.com
YouTube: www.youtube.com/unifilhk

 

     
     
           
     

HK OFW Agnes Tenorio's statement on the abuse and neglect of RP labor attache

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Labor head’s callous treatment of OFW shows contempt to migrant workers and their rights- Statement of MFMW Limited

 

Transcription of the Recorded Exchange between Labor Attache Romulo Salud and Filipino migrant worker Agnes Tenorio October 10, 2010
 

Statement of Filipino migrant worker Agnes Tenorio on the verbal abuse committed
against her by Philippine Labour Attaché to Hong Kong Romulo Salud 26 October 2010 (English)

 

Statement of Filipino migrant worker Agnes Tenorio on the verbal abuse committed
against her by Philippine Labour Attaché to Hong Kong Romulo Salud 26 October 2010 (*Tagalog0

 

           

 

October 28, 2010

PRESS RELEASE

 

Church Leader joins clamor for Labor Attache sanction

 

The General Secretary of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP)  has thrown unwavering support to the call of overseas Filipino workers for the government to recall the Philippine Labor Attache in Hong Kong. In an open letter to Labor Secretary Rosalinda Dimapiliz Baldoz, Rev. Rex Reyes, Jr. said the plight of Ms. Agnes Tenorio in Hong Kong “brought to light the suffering of these OFWs in the hands of those whose primary concern is to care for Filipino citizens at all times”.

 

A recorded conversation between Tenorio and the Labor Attache circulating on the internet has caused outrage among the OFWs, notwithstanding the apology of Labor Attache Romulo Salud.

 

Fr. Reyes said, he heard similar stories in many other countries. “For so long, thousands bore similar abuses in silence because it was always their muffled word against those working in these consulates and because of the more urgent need to survive”. Fr. Reyes lamented that Salud did not even bother to suggest to Tenorio, a first time OFW, some of the recourses available outside of repatriation. “His language was not only abusive but also, inconsiderate. His inaction was irresponsible and insensitive,” Reyes said. “Considering the circumstances of their having to leave family and country and the government’s high praises for the dollars they remit home, the least we can expect of Filipino consulates around the world is hospitality to all its citizens especially migrant workers. It is a disgrace and a disservice for consulate leaders to bite the hands that feed them,” he added.

 

Reyes urged the Secretary to be on top of the situation and for her leadership to make a difference in the DOLE by demanding “of all consuls a high degree of accountability to migrant workers”. He said migrant welfare is “an enduring concern of the NCCP”. Recently, the NCCP co-sponsored an Asian inter-faith dialogue on families, children and migration in Manila and a migrants-church forum.

 

Reyes assured Secretary Baldoz that “we have not ceased in praying that those who serve in this Republic of the Philippines do so with compassion and with a sense of accountability to the people, so lacking these days. We pray for a bureaucracy we can be proud anywhere anytime.”

 

 

Reference:

 

REV. REX RB REYES, JR.

Mobile 0926 704 8249

_______

 

October 28, 2010

 

Honorable Secretary, Rosalinda Dimapilis Baldoz

Secretary of Department of Labor and Employment

7th Floor , DOLE Bldg.

Muralla Street corner Gen. Luna Street

Intramuros, Manila

 

secrdb@dole.gov.ph

 

AN OPEN LETTER TO THE HONORABLE SECRETARY OF LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES

 

Dear Madame Secretary,

 

The National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP) joins the clamor for the Secretary of the Department of Labor to act with dispatch on the reported verbal abuse suffered by first-time OFW Agnes Tenorio from the Labor Attache in Hongkong.

 

We commend Agnes Tenorio for documenting the incident. We have heard of similar experiences of OFWs in Philippine consulates in many countries. For so long, thousands bore similar abuses in silence because it was always their muffled word against those working in the consulates and because of the more urgent need to survive. The recorded conversation between Ms. Tenorio and the Labor Attache in Hongkong brought to light the suffering of these OFWs in the hands of those whose primary concern is to care for Filipino citizens at all times. The Labor Attache was also remiss in his duty. He failed to provide, much less, suggest a legal recourse to Ms. Tenorio and instead agreed to immediate repatriation. His language was not only abusive but also, inconsiderate. His inaction was irresponsible and insensitive. He must be sanctioned immediately.

 

We respectfully urge you to demand of all those working in consulates a high degree of accountability to migrant workers. Considering the circumstances of their having to leave family and country and the government’s high praises for the dollars they remit home, the least we can expect of Filipino consulates around the world is hospitality to its citizens. It is a disgrace and a disservice for consulate leaders to bite the hands that feed them.

 

We have heard you referring the matter to your undersecretaries. We urge you to be on top of the situation. The words “investigate” and “due process” has become synonymous to inaction on the complaints of victims and a convenient way to extricate those responsible from being held accountable for their deplorable conduct.  In either case, an injustice was committed. Please show that your department can make a difference under your leadership.

 

The NCCP, a fellowship of the so-called Protestant and non-Roman Catholic mainline churches in the Philippines, looks at the welfare of migrant workers as one of its enduring concerns. Even as we do, we have not ceased in praying that those who serve in this Republic of the Philippines do so with compassion and with a sense of accountability to the people, so lacking these days. We pray for a bureaucracy we can be proud anywhere, anytime.

 

Sincerely yours,

 

REV. REX RB REYES, JR.

General Secretary

 

 
   
           
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