DT: Two Filipino housemaids who have been working in Bahrain for more than 19 years have not been paid for more than a year.
Anita Lilagan, 53, and Marita Macalinao, 50, have been working in the Kingdom for 19 and 25 years, as domestic workers for a Bahraini family.
“I talked to Anita on the phone, and she told me that she arrived in Bahrain in 1984 and used to work as a domestic help to the brother of her present employer."
Monterona said that both of them claimed they have not been paid their monthly salary of BD130 for 13 months. This is the fourteenth month and of they don’t receive their salary this month either the employer will owe then BD1,820 each.
“Anita told me that they received only BD500 out of the BD1,820 unpaid salaries. This amount was given in installments for their food and personal expenses,” Mr. Monterona added.
The women told Mr. Monterona that they already demanded their employer to pay them their unpaid salaries, as they need it to support their families in Philippines.
The employer had promised the maids that he would pay their dues once his loan was approved by the end of this month. However, there is no assurance on his promise.
Mr. Monterona said that he had forwarded the case of the two OFWs to the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) office in Bahrain.
“POLO-OWWA has the jurisdiction and is in a position to remind the employer of his obligation to pay the unpaid salaries of the workers,” he added.
Mr. Monterona said his group will closely monitor the case and push POLO-OWWA to assist them until they receive their unpaid salaries.
POLO-OWWA informed DT that the employer promised to pay all the dues and repatriate the two workers before Ramadan.
As per POEA 2010 statistics, Bahrain is the no.7 on the top 10 destinations for household service workers.