'Walang kain, bilad sa araw, walang sweldo' : Pinay recalls traumatic work experience 

Gina Madis, a single mother of two children, had no choice but to leave her family in search of a better life for them. And so, she was able to work in Jordan and Kuwait.
Gina was among hundreds of Filipinos who were recently repatriated from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), most of whom ended working under unusual conditions because they arrived on visit visas and allegedly took their chances working illegally.
Gina recalled how her employer forced them to work under the scorching heat of the sun without any meals and later on without any salary.
“Yung overworking minsan walang kain, minsan yung amo kasagsagan ng init ng araw ibinibilad kami sa labas pinag-tatrabaho kami or nagwawalis or nag-gagardening kami dun sa labas parang mahihimatay kami sa sobrang init,” Gina said
The UAE allows visit visa holders to look for and legally land jobs. But the Philippine government has time and again advised jobseekers not to abuse this kind gesture by the host country  because of numerous cases of abuse that has in turn resulted to rising numbers of runaways, who end up being repatriated.
Facebook recruitment
Gina said she was recruited to move to UAE through Facebook . Her recruiters allegedly offered day-off for her, something that she doesn’t have from her previous jobs.
“Yung agent namin yung bale na ano lang kami sa Facebook na imbita lang kami sa Facebook ang dami nilang pangako na kesyo may day-off,” she said.
Gina said her employer seized her cellphone, depriving her of a means to contact her family.
When she found a way to escape, she immediately ran and went to the Philippine Embassy.
“Parang nabunutan na ko ng tinik na nakarating na ko dito sa Pilipinas. Nandon ako sa ibang bansa parang gusto ko na parang kahon na ko ng uuwi ako dito kasi yung sitwasyon ko nga wala akong cellphone, hindi kami maka-kontact sa family namin; feeling ko mamatay na ko sa sitwasyon namin,” she added.
Despite her traumatic experience, Gina said she is willing to take another shot working abroad, but with resolve to make sure that everything will be legal this time.
Last year almost 5,000 distressed Filipinos from UAE — mostly runaways — were repatriated to the Philippines.
The Departments of Foreign Affairs and Labor and Employment has been advising jobseekers to refrain from dealing with recruiters through Facebook.


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