“In the name of responsible and professional civil service, DoLE Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz must recall her labor attache Romulo Salud, pending the investigation it will be conducted on the complaints filed by distress OFW Agnes Tenorio and other concerned migrant groups and advocates in Hong Kong,” said John Leonard Monterona, Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator.
Monterona said there are many distress OFWs who have not been given a cordial treatment by RP posts abroad especially those who are in the Consular department and overseas labor offices who are duty-bound to provide assistance to distress OFWs.
“This kind of (mal)treatment to OFWs is prevalent in the Middle East amongst RP post officials, consular or labor; thus, distress OFWs are running and seeking help instead to Migrante and other migrant groups who are openly willing to provide them assistance that they need,” Monterona added.
Speaking on his own experience, Monterona said when he was just new in Saudi attending OFWs cases, he too had been badmouthed by Consular and labor officials of the RP embassy in Riyadh after he followed up the status of OFW cases for updates as per the request of distress OFWs and their relatives in the Philippines.
“Often, when we follow updates on OFWs cases we have endorsed to RP embassy officials for their action, we are maligned and not getting the respect due us from RP officials,” Monterona added.
“This culture of neglect and arrogance among RP embassy, consular and labor officials must be changed; rendering disciplinary action and administrative sanctions to labor attache Romulo Salud is the first step,” Monterona averred.
Monterona said his group would lobby to allies and pro-OFWs legislators to pass a law criminalizing inaction, gross neglect and arrogance of RP officials abroad in relation to their sworn duty to provide honest and genuine public service.