Bishop deplores ‘maid auction’ in Saudi Arabia

Bishop deplores ‘maid auction’ in Saudi Arabia

Balanga Bishop Ruperto Santos, chairman of the CBCP Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People. ANALYN PERUCHO

By CBCP News

March 2, 2018

MANILA, Philippines

An official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines has raised serious concern over the alleged “maid auction” and other abuses committed against Filipino workers in the Kingdom of Saud Arabia.

Balanga Bishop Ruperto Santos, head of the CBCP’s migrants ministry, said it’s deplorable and blatant “desecration of human person”.

“OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) are not objects, nor commodities. They are not tools for profits nor for pleasure. They are persons with rights and dignity which should be respected and defended,” he said.

The Department of Labor and Employment earlier reported that Filipino household service workers were being traded like “slaves” by their employers and recruiters alike in KSA.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the government is now eyeing on expanding the existing deployment ban in Kuwait to Saudi Arabia.

Detained Senator Leila de Lima also expressed alarm over reports that domestic helpers are being auctioned to highest bidders in the Arab country.

Bishop Santos urged the government to investigate and lodge diplomatic protest into the “shameful and sinful” abuses.

“It’s criminality that should be condemned and perpetrators be severely punished,” he said. “It is high time to discuss and decide also for total deployment ban of OFWs there in KSA.”