While many Filipinos fancy working outside the Philippines because of the suppose lucrative pay they are set to receive compared with doing the same work in their home country, it is actually a sad reality that many overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are abused and overworked but underpaid and don’t even get to enjoy a day off from work.
One of these OFWs is Isidro P. Lacupanto who had been working as driver for a family in Saudi Arabia. Often going home at 3AM as he drives his bosses around, Tatay Isidro gets only a few hours of rest because at 6AM, he is expected to get up to bring his employers to work and send their kids to school.
But with a family to support in the Philippines, Tatay Isidro did not complain for 2 years. He worked as hard as he could. When his contract ended, he wished to get back home and get a much needed rest but his employers refused to let him go, telling him to extend his contract for another year.
Too tired from being overworked for two years, he refused. His employers requested that he work for free the next month so they can have money to buy his plane tickets. He gladly agreed but even before the month ended, he was picked up by the cops for unknown reasons and spent 21 days in jail.
Afterwards, he wouldn’t be let inside his employer’s home — even when his belongings were still inside. He sought help from the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) but seeing so many people there still waiting for assistance, Tatay Isidro decided to seek help from kindhearted kababayans.
He went to a mall in Riyadh and would ask other Filipinos there for any amount they can spare so that he could have enough money to get back home. It is unknown whether he has an exit clearance (most probably none yet) but he hopes to collect enough for the fare home.
It is with high hopes that netizen Azumi Chan shared Tatay Isidro’s story so that he can quickly find assistance so that he can go home before something worse happens to him in Riyadh. We also hope he can get his things back but if that is not possible, at least he can get home without getting jailed again.