Her story, which was featured in the latest episode of Maalaala Mo Kaya last February 20, may have inspired a lot of people, especially overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), but “Shiela” wasn’t the one who chatted with host Charo Santos-Concio during the MMK Kumustahan.
Instead, the host had a short but very meaningful conversation with letter sender Rodelia Villar, the leader of Domestic Workers Corner – an OFW community based in Hong Kong. According to her, Filipinos working there are still adjusting with the challenging situation caused by the pandemic. At the same time, many Filipinos were also terminated from their jobs which caused them to go back to the Philippines.
When asked how she’s been doing, she expressed how grateful she is because she doesn’t have problem with her employer nor her family. However, there are still members of the organization who are emotionally suffering.
She decided to create the organization when she became a member of POLO (Philippine Overseas Labor Offices). Many OFWs have already opened up about their problems, until the group expanded and evolved into an online community which addresses what they called ‘love scam’ or our kababayans common struggle when it comes to love or relationships.
Rodelia recalled that there was a member of the group who asked permission if she could post the picture of a guy to find out if he has a girlfriend after he got her pregnant. A lot of women shared it and that’s when they knew that there were a lot of victims of love scam.
According to her, pregnant women who need help are referred to Pathfinders, a non-government organization which helps pregnant migrant workers. If they need advice, the organization will refer them to DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development) or OWWA (Overseas Workers Welfare Administration). Basically, their organization serves as a mediator between the pregnant migrant workers and the responsible organizations or departments.
She also shared that what usually triggers Filipina migrants to talk to people they haven’t even met yet is the fact that they don’t have friends or people close to them to whom they could share their problems to. Thus, they resort to talking to a stranger to whom they eventually get attached to, without realizing that this person was already taking advantage of them.
This motivated Rodelia to build the organization so that these Filipinas would be able to impart the struggles they’re facing, including work-related and family-related problems. They were able to coordinate with The Sun Hong Kong News in sharing to everyone about the love scam and how it has already affected a lot of Filipina overseas workers.
Watch this video to see everything that happened in their insightful virtual conversation.
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