A lawmaker in the Philippines is pushing for a parliamentary visit to Saudi Arabia to assess the extent of abuses of Filipino workers there after Agnes Mancilla, a domestic worker, was forced by her employer to drink bleach as punishment.
Emmi de Jesus, a member of the House of Representatives, said the abuses that Filipinos suffer while working abroad had to stop, GMA News reported.
“This glaring case of abuse against Mancilla bolsters the House resolution to conduct a parliamentary visit and assessment of government assistance to Filipino workers in Saudi Arabia,” de Jesus said.
According to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Mancilla, who was taken to King Fahd Hospital in the southwestern city of Jizan in an unconscious state, is now awake and has given a statement on the incident, the Philippine Canadian Inquirer reported.
Mancilla said her female employer forced her to drink bleach after she failed to make tea properly. She said that in addition to such physical abuse, she was overworked, was not paid on time and was forced to clean the houses of her employer’s relatives.
Edgar Badajos, the Philippine consul in Jeddah, is meeting with authorities in Jizan to ensure that charges will be filed against Mancilla’s employer.
Badajos said the consulate was making arrangements for Mancilla to be transferred to a hospital in Jeddah, which is about 700 kilometers northwest of Jizan. The consulate in Jeddah says it will look after Mancilla until she is fully recovered, and will also arrange for her repatriation to the Philippines.
The DFA said Mancilla is scheduled to return to the Philippines on April 22.