authorities are looking into a case filed by a Saudi national against
the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh after he discovered that it had
refused to let him enter the Southeast Asian country.
Saudi has demanded financial compensation, in addition to an official
apology. However, the embassy has justified its action by saying that
the Saudi mistreated a Filipino woman while she was working in his
household as a maid.
Ambassador Rafael Seguis has revealed to Arab News the reasons the
maid says forced her to run away from her sponsor’s house.
to the maid’s complaints recorded at the embassy, her sponsor had
refused to pay her salary for seven months. The sponsor had also
ambassador insists that the maid will stay with the embassy until the
matter is settled in a way that is acceptable to both sides.
Saudi, on his part, said the maid had done nothing but cry since she
arrived in the Kingdom and is merely looking for an excuse to return
to her home country.
elaborated that the maid had used the telephone to talk with a
Filipino expatriate worker.
we discovered that he was working at the Philippine school in Alkhobar
and was helping her to run away from my house,” he claimed.
weeks after her arrival, I was surprised to learn that she had made
the decision to run away,” the Saudi said.
went to Alkhobar police station to make a report, and by chance found
the maid he wanted to say had run away was sitting inside —
demanding that she be allowed to return to the Philippines. In the
end, the Saudi said, the police managed to get an undertaking from the
maid that she would not abscond again.
Saudi says that the maid nevertheless tried to run away from his house
on several other occasions, and that each time the police were
informed and a report was made.
later, the Saudi traveled to the Philippines to recruit workers for
his commercial establishment. It was then, at the airport, that he
discovered how the Philippine authorities were looking for him in
connection with the charges made by the maid.
had in effect been blacklisted, and was refused entry into the
authorities in Manila have said they took the action on the
recommendation of the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh.
the Saudi was eventually able to leave the country — after paying
returning from the Philippines, the Saudi received a call from an
official at its embassy in Riyadh who suggested he meet with the
charge d’affaires and try to settle the issue cordially.
Saudi insisted, however, that the embassy issue an official apology
and pay compensation for the stress he had suffered at being refused
entry to the Philippines.
Saudi has also urged the embassy to hand the maid over to the Saudi
embassy initially agreed to this demand, but has since decided to
persevere in its attempts to settle the issue privately with the two
parties directly involved.
than 19,000 cases of maids who have fled their sponsor were reported
last year, an official at the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs
Al-Radadi, undersecretary at the ministry, attributed the increasing
tendency among the maids to escape from bad employers mainly to the
latter’s failure to pay regularly the maids’ salaries.
some cases, maids took to flight to escape ill-treatment by members of
the employer’s family living in the same house. There were also
cases where — as in the latest controversy — the maids were being
influenced by their compatriots, who tempt them to make a run for it.
some maids admit they ran away because they were simply unable to
continue their job due to a combination of physical exhaustion and
of all nationalities, but particularly Indonesians, Filipinos and Sri
Lankans, run away from their sponsors. The ministry that handles these
“fleeing maids” provides food and lodging until the settlement of
their cases, when they either return to their former employees or are
deported to their home countries.
department does not, however, deal with cases of maids with contagious
diseases or involved in criminal activity.
official urges sponsors to take care of their maids and not to abuse