The number of Filipino domestic helpers who have fled their employers to the Filipino Resource Centre of Philippine Overseas Labour Office (POLO) in Abu Dhabi has increased by 20 percent, officials said.
“Compared to last year, our wards have increased by 20 percent. We now average between 118 to 125 [wards] a month compared to last year, which was below 100,” Philippine Labour attaché attorney Nasser Munder told the Khaleej Times.
“The majority of those who run away this year have only been with their employers for less than three months,” he said.
Munder told the paper that runaways had fled due to a variety of reasons, including abuse and sexual harassment, delayed salaries, medical reasons and homesickness.
He told the paper that the repatriation process was now taking longer because Filipino officials had to wait for employers to file an absconding case before visas can be cancelled.
He said many workers do not have the money to pay their airfares home and they rely on donations from fellow Filipinos and government officials.