Philippine government recalls erring Embassy Officials in Saudi Arabia by Romeo Navidad
AL-KHOBAR, Saudi Arabia - The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), an adjunct agency to the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) mandated to provide welfare programs and assistance to Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), confirms that two of its officials posted in Saudi Arabia were instructed to report to its main office immediately, according to OFW rights group Migrante-Middle East (M-ME) providing assistance to distress and abused OFWs.
M-ME regional coordinator John Leonard Monterona said he received a reply via electronic mail from OWWA chief Carmelita Dimzon confirming that labor and welfare officers Allen ‘Jack’ Arroyo and Anuar Ampang, were instructed to come home immediately to face the agency’s Administrative Complaints Committee (ACC).
On July 18, 2012, M-ME sent an email requesting DoLE and OWWA to probe Mr. Arroyo based on the signed complaint affidavit of OFW Joel Lacanilao alleging that Mr. Arroyo ordered him to pay an amount of 7,000 Saudi Riyals (US$ 1,867.00) to facilitate his immediate repatriation that never actually happened.
Four days after, M-ME sent another email requesting DoLE and OWWA to probe Riyadh-based OWWA welfare officer Anuar Ampang based on a signed complaint affidavit of OFW Ronald D. Detanoy alleging that the OWWA official is not providing him advise as the latter was only playing on-line Solitaire game on his desk top and he too was badmouthed by the OWWA official.
“Very serious allegation and I would like to assure you of speedy action on it. We shall instruct him (Ampang) to come home immediately to face our Administrative Complaints Committee,” OWWA chief Dimzom in reply to M-ME’s request calling for an investigation.
As to Welfare Officer Arroyo, Dimzon confirmed that “he too has been recalled from his tour of duty.”
“We were informed that both officials will be home by the end of this month to face OWWA Administrative complaints Committee. This will give both the opportunity to explain and defend their side amid signed complaints from complainant OFWs and their witnesses,” Monterona said.
Monterona and his group are expecting that these erring officials will be sanctioned and put under disciplinary action.
“We will continue our campaign against erring and inept officials abroad. Our OFWs deserve honest-to-goodness, efficient and effective public service given that these officials are receiving their salaries from OFWs trust fund held in trust to OWWA,” Monterona added.
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