Two days after he arrived in Manila, his agency called him at his place. The agency knew very well that my brother was ready to bring his case to POEA. My brother in response demanded simply the pay for the 11 months remaining of his contract as amenable settlement for the psychological anguish he suffered from his employer. In less than a week, they paid his demands in front of the POEA officer. My brother knew that, the employer was able to run away with his abuses by simply paying little. Life has continue as it is for my brother. He did not even complain that the cash he received when they settled his case was less than 5,000 pesos. He was not willing to continue fighting the agency while he needed to find another job.
Earlier that week, at the height og his anger, he was even willing to get to the media to expose the exploitations and the injustice that he has gone through in Dubai and especially while in Baghdad. When he received the money that he was asking for from his company through the agency in Manila, he did not bother anymore to take further action. Earlier upon his arrival, I asked to talk to the media as I knew someone who could help us. This never happened, because the news reporter was not available when we set the schedule for interview. The offer of settlement came so fast that my brother decided not to push through with it afterwards. The reporter was also disappointed not to get a scoop when he came to know that my brother backed off from an interview. Even if I was also disappointed about the decision of my brother, again he reminded me of the many other OFWs whom I wanted to help each time they came to ask for help but later decided not to push through with their complaints.
The case of my brother is just one of the many sad experiences happening to the many Filipinos working overseas. They have to bear insults and unfair treatment in exchange for the dollars they wish to earn as there are no sufficient jobs available in the Philippines in case they return home. The choice has become simple for them. They needed to gets jobs anywhere for them to survive. They are even willing to pay for a price, sometimes outright while waiting for their visa to be released or through a salary deduction. Unfortunately, the government that could not provide work for them neither could not provide protection for OFWs when they find work outside the country. “So whether one in his country or outside the country nothing can be expected from the government,” my brother lamented. “One simply has to defend himself or herself in the midst of abuses,” my brother added. “When you are overseas, you can not really rely on the assistance or protection from the government which first violated your rights in your own country,” he stressed. In a way he was right. A country that could not provide job to his people is already making violation of the right to a decent work.
At his age of 43, he should be retiring in a… ... to be continued