Duterte meets OFW scalded by Saudi employer

Don Kevin Hapal
Duterte meets OFW scalded by Saudi employer
Pahima Alagasi, the OFW scalded by her employer in Saudi Arabia 4 years ago, is given financial assistance and offered a job by President Rodrigo Duterte

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte welcomed on Saturday, April 14, an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) who was finally able to come home 4 years after she was scalded by her employer in Saudi Arabia.

Duterte and Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence Go met with OFW Pahima Alagasi and her family at the Coco’s South Bistro Restaurant in Davao City.

According to Malacañang, the President expressed his happiness over the resolution of Alagasi’s case in Saudi Arabia. While expressing compassion toward OFWs, Duterte also reminded them to be extra careful in “dealing with the laws and customs of foreign countries.” 

During the meeting, the President also gave Alagasi and her family a check worth P100,000, as well as P20,000 in cash, from the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA). Go meanwhile gave Alagasi a mobile phone. 

Alagasi was also offered employment as a Welfare Officer for the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Riyadh.

Scalded by employer

Alagasi suffered severe burns after her employer doused her with hot water 4 years ago. She fled and filed a complaint against her employer, but the case was dismissed by a Saudi court. 

The employer retaliated with a false accusation charge and a claim for $66,000 (P3,435,960) in damages, which was dismissed by a Saudi judge. The employer elevated the case to the appeals court and also filed an absconding case against Alagasi. These cases held back the OFW’s repatriation for 4 years.

Alagasi was finally able to come home to the Philippines on Friday, April 13. 

ACTS-OFW Representative Aniceto Bertiz III credited her homecoming to Duterte, who raised the OFW’s case with Saudi Interior Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif when he paid a courtesy call on the Philippine leader in Malacañang in March.

The Saudi Prince then interceded and had the cases against Alagasi resolved, Bertiz said. – Rappler.com

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Don Kevin Hapal

Don Kevin Hapal is Rappler’s Head of Data and Innovation. He started at Rappler as a digital communications specialist, then went on to lead Rappler’s Balikbayan section for overseas Filipinos. He was introduced to data journalism while writing and researching about social media, disinformation, and propaganda.