OWWA Provides Livelihood Assistance, Other Help to OFW Tied to a Tree in Saudi

A lot of Filipinos were outraged to learn that a Filipina domestic helper was tied to a tree by her employers in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. She has since been repatriated.

Overseas Filipino worker (OFW) Lovely Acosta Baruelo lives in Bauang, La Union. Even before the incident was posted online, representatives from the local government of Bauang had already informed the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Regional Welfare Office I (OWWA RWOI) regarding her plight as she was being maltreated by her employers in Riyadh.

Photo credit: Expat Readers

Soon, Sononir Cabrera Kristina would post photos of Lovely tied to a tree. At the time, it was unknown how long she was in that tree, what time the incident happened, and the reason she was put there, but netizens were furious over the maltreatment.

The post quickly went viral and Lovely was immediately taken from the home and repatriated.

On May 15, representatives from OWWA RWOI were able to talk to Lovely at their home. Lovely underwent stress debriefing after talking with the OWWA officials.

According to Lovely, she and the other domestic helpers were doing general cleaning at the house when she had a misunderstanding with a senior maid over a sala set that had to be put outside for drying. The senior maid told their employer, who happens to be a princess, about the misunderstanding – and was told to tie Lovely to the tree.

Photo credit: Expat Readers

What’s so heartbreaking is that Lovely was tied to the tree from 2PM to 9PM. She was only taken off the tree when a family member of the princess saw her there and advised the woman to have her removed. The princess’ family member advised her to simply just let the OFW go home if she feels she is not satisfied with her domestic helper’s job.

Last May 17, Lovely livelihood assistance amounting to Php 20,000 from OWWA. She is also entitled to avail of the Skills for Employment Scholarship Program (SESP) and IT Training provided by the government agency.

Moreover, OWWA will also provide assistance in the money claim Lovely plans to file against her local recruitment agency through Single Entry Approach (SENA).