Senator Risa Hontiveros has filed a resolution calling for a Senate inquiry into the death of another domestic helper in Saudi Arabia and renewed her call for stronger mechanisms to protect and safeguard Filipino migrant workers in Middle Eastern countries.
Marjorette Garcia, 32, was allegedly found dead with stab wounds, but details and circumstances about her death remains unknown.
Garcia’s family has reached out to the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) to assist them for the immediate return of her body to the country and has requested for an investigation seeking justice for her death.
The Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) said it is now investigating the case of Garcia who was deployed in Saudi Arabia in 2021.
“An inquiry must be conducted to bring justice to Garcia’s family, with the objective of ensuring that women migrant workers, who are often subjected to extensive violence, are protected and safeguarded,” Hontiveros said in the explanatory note of Senate Resolution No. 817.
“In the recent years, there have been several incidents of OFWs facing maltreatment and abuse in the Middle East who never made it back to the country alive to return to their families,” she pointed out.
The senator recalled the case of Constancia Dayag who was reportedly beaten and sexually abused by her employer in May 2019, and Jullibee Ranarq, who was raped, tortured and murdered last January 2023.
“In 2021, 60 percent of OFWs were women. In the same year, OWWA reported that 75 percent of the 23,986 cases of abuse included women migrant workers,” she noted.
“There must be stronger mechanisms to provide comprehensive assistance and sustainable protection to OFWs, particularly women migrant workers, throughout the whole process from recruitment to repatriation,” the lawmaker reiterated.