OFW Who Could Not Speak English Sent Home By Employer

by learn a language journalist

Working abroad is not easy as many people think. It is important that you know how to communicate through spoken language. If you cannot speak the local language of your host country, you should at least learn how to speak English being the universal language.

An overseas Filipino worker (OFW) deployed by her recruitment agency as a household worker in Jeddah was sent home by her employer because she could not understand and speak the English language. Joan just arrived in Saudi Arabia a week ago. The OFW said that because of poverty, she did not finish her elementary education and only reached grade 2. Joan said that she was assisted by her agency during application and all she did was to sign the documents to be able to work abroad.


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A Filipina domestic helper in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, was sent home by her employer after only several weeks of employment because of her failure to speak and understand English.

“Hindi po ako marunong, ni isa po, pag sinasabihan ako ng how are you hindi ko rin po maisagot. Yuko na lang po ako,” said Joan (not her real name) when interviewed by GMA News at the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO).

Joan arrived in Saudi Arabia on the last week of January.

According to Joan, because of poverty, she only finished Grade 2. She said she has been living with a man since she was 15 and that her live-in partner is now in jail on drug-related charges.

Joan said this was the reason why she decided to try her luck abroad as a domestic helper.

Asked on how she applied for an overseas job if she doesn’t understand English, Joan said she was assisted by her recruiter and that all she did was sign papers

Because of this, Labor Attaché Nasser Mustafa urged recruitment agencies to thoroughly scrutinize applicants, especially those recommended by their agents.

“Dapat suriing mabuti ng mga recruitment agencies ang mga recommended ng kanilang mga agent,” Mustafa said.

“Kailangan on top of the situation sila sa pagre-recruit nila dahil kapag nagkaroon ng problema ay hindi naman ang agent nila ang mananagot dito kundi ang recruitment agency nila.”

Mustafa said aside from problems with the English language, some Filipina domestic helpers they have encountered also could not perform household chores properly, while some were minors.

Mustafa said recruitment agencies should be discerning with their recruits.

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This content was originally published here.

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