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Philippines: Labor attaché earns Filipino migrant community's ire

Instead of helping a victim of illegal termination, the Philippine labor attaché Romulo Salud scolded the Filipina migrant worker Agnes Tenorio when she sought help from the Philippine consulate in Hong Kong. Unfortunately for the attaché, Tenorio was able to record her traumatic encounter and posted this in YouTube.

A transcription of the recorded exchange is posted at arkibongbayan.org. A followup video shows Tenorio speaking about her plight in a press conference organized by a Filipino migrant workers’ association.

Tenorio's plight quickly spread among fellow overseas filipino workers (OFWs) and other concerned people all over the world. The 2 YouTube videos’ comment section gives a sample of the reaction to Tenorio's plight. Many are enraged by Salud's actions.

andrea30965: shame on u mr.salud di mo lng alam kung gaano kahirap maging OFW buhay namin ang kapalit kasi hindi namin alam ang pupuntahan namin tapos ganyan ka sa nangangailanga!

Shame on you Mr. Salud. You don't know how hard it is to be an OFW. Our lives are on the line because we don't know our destination yet that is how you treat the needy!

dhessy2007: Dapt sa mga ganung labor attache eh sinisibak n lng sa serbisyo abay kung hindi dahil sa mga pera nting padala sa pinas wala silang work.!

Labor attaché's like Salud should be removed from the service. If not for the money we send back to the Philippines they don't have work.!

rsgg2: tarantadong salud yan BOBO pasalamat ka di ka d2 sa italya napunta, d aari d2 style mo gago cguradong mkktikim ka sa mga pnoy d2 SIRA ULO….

That rude Salud is stupid. Be grateful you are not assigned here in Italy. Your style won't do here. Pinoys here will surely give you what you deserve. Crazy head.

melosolis: being a hardworking OFW myself in Hong kong who knows there is no greater sacrifice than leave the comfort of home and leave family behind for a chance of a better life, being treated like shit by the very own people paid by the Filipino people to protect and guide us is ABSOLUTELY UNACCEPTABLE !

Some commended Tenorio and encouraged others to do the same.

retig06: dapat taalgang irekord na lahat antin ang konveration natin sa mga taong gaya niang nga buwaya sa lipunan di na tama ang ginagawa nia di lanng yang si SALUD ang ganyan Halos lahat ng consulada ng pnas sa buong mondo e ganyan!!! Parepareho yan buti na isipan ng Pinay na io ang tama at amtuwid na gawain. Saludo ko sa yo isa kang halimbawa!!!! Maga Ka OFW gayahin natin sia ihanda ang recorder kada me kausap na opisyales ng pamahalaaan at ipost agad sa youtube!!!

All our conversations with people like that who are crocodiles of society should really be recorded. What Salud is doing is not anymore right. Salud is not the only one. Almost all the Philippine consulates in the whole world are like that!!! They're all the same. It's a good thing the Pinay thought of the right thing to do. I salute you. You are an example!!! OFWs, we should follow and ready our recorders everytime we speak to government officials and immediately post in youtube!!!

Others shared own experiences of rude treatment from officials of Philippine posts abroad.

yobs17: sa airport pa lang you will see their tribes .. I witnessed this arrogant ” kontrabida actor-look-alike ” NAIIA staff on top of his voice rudely asked my co-employee why he didn't filled-up the departure data form properly .. everyone of us standing in line rankled & wanted to jump in & bash that immigration staff's head in his cubicle glass .. we were all traumatized .. like Salud they should be jailed for life ..
ricman46: is this a surprise?

Philippine Consulate of Los Angeles is no different. Mga rude ang mga empleyado doon…

malakas ang loob nya kasi kuno they have DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY!

kaya makontento na tayo sa mababang serbisyo nila. to them, they are giving us all a favor.

RUDE employees of Consulates should be RECALLED!

is this a surprise?

Philippine Consulate of Los Angeles is no different. Employees there are rude.

They are confident because they supposedly have DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY!

RUDE employees of Consulates should be RECALLED!

Walle7878: This happens all the time. I am married to a filipina. I have seen how the system treats their own citizens. Its horrible. The officials feel better than the ones paying their salaries (the citizens). We have had first-handexperience with many offices also abroad. The philippine embassy in Norway also likes to waste the citizens time with typical philippine bureaucracy and talkingdown. They forget that citizens are their customers. The state is there for the people – not the other……

The side of Salud, who claimed the controversy is a set-up by a migrant organization hungry for media-mileage, is posted in Resty Odon's blog.

The OFW involved left her employer just after two hours when she arrived from Manila. She had said she palpitated after cleaning the house so she wanted to go back home. She went to Mr. Salud for help. While fixing her ticket home and waving her loan from the agency that processed her work contract, she stayed at the consulate center for free, including food, for one month. She came back to Mr. Salud the second time to thank him because she can fly home. The consulate took care of everything. But she came back for the third time, singing a different tune: that she was not going home and she's suing. The ensuing conversation was recorded (in secret, I suppose) and uploaded on YouTube. Mukhang nasulsulan siya. She's referring to a Hong Kong law which states that an employee whose contract was terminated by the employer within the first 30 days of work can sue or get a month's wage. But hindi applicable sa kanya ito kasi siya ang nagrequest ng termination. Kaya tama lang na pagsabihan siya.

The migrant groups assisting Tenorio are now demanding for the removal of Salud from his office and raising the issue of government neglect of OFWs and the transgressions against their rights.

A Blog Action Day to Support OFW Agnes Tenorio and All Neglected OFWs and Recall Labor Attache Romy Salud has also been organized for November 7.

1) Please include the youtube link of the recorded conversation between Salud and Tenorio:

2) You can also check the the facebook page of the Support Agnes Tenorio and All Neglected OFWs! Recall Labor Attache Romulo Salud! Campaign:

3) You can also include the online petition

4) Please email unifil.hk@gmail.com if you are interested to join.

Thumbnail photo courtesy of UNIFIL-Migrante-HK.

3 comments

  • UVA

    pasalamat ka salud at hnd pareho mong lalaki ginanyan mo.wala ka karapatan na ganyanin mga kasama naming OFW.kaw dapat magbigay ng lakas ng loob para sa mga nanghihingi ng tulong at magbigay ng lakas ng loob sa kagaya naming mga OFW.bakit porky official ka ng gobyerno natin?ang kagaya mo ay nagsasalamin lng nang kahihiyan,kabastosan ng isang pilipino.dnt tell na,ang ama ay ayaw nmn nyang pabayaan ang anak,at yun ang ginawa mo,accdng sa interview mo sa radyo.but you think pagiging ama ginawa mo?kung pagiging ama man ang ginawa mo,isa kang pabayang ama.nanamantala ka sa kahinaan ng isang kapwa mong pilipino..to kuya mike,were not using this media para magkaron lng ng sariling interest,but we just use this to show how the officials of our country,treat their countryman.kung walang action po na ganito,patuloy at patuloy p rin ang pagtratrato ng di maganda o pagpapabaya sa isang katulong na pilipino.Try nyo pong ilagay sarili nyo sa kalagayan ni mrs tenorio.matatanggap mo kaya ang pagtrato ni mr salud na ganun?infact,cya dapat ang aasahan,d po ba?hnd po kami one sided,we know may positive din na nagawa ang labour attache natin,pero yan naman talagang trabaho nya,to support OFW kung ano man ang pangangailangan nla at hnd tratohin ng ganun.

  • GB

    tama po kau.dapat alisin na mga klaseng official na ganyan,walang puso at awa sa kapwa pilipino.ang pagiging alila sa ibang bansa ay hnd madali,napakalaki ang kapalit na sakripisyo ang inilalaan natin para lng magkaron ng magandang kinabukasan ang mga pamilya natin..pag alis natin sa pilipinas,tinuturingan tau ng mga agencya ng gobyerno natin na tau ay isang bayani,pero hanggang ganyan na lng,hanggang turing na lng na bayani para may pagkaperahan ng mga buwayang nagsisilbi sa ating gobyerno..ang katulad ni salud ay itapon at ilagay sa nararapat na paglalagyan..sa simula at sa wakas ay alam natin ang totoong kwento tungkol dito,kaya sa mga sumasang ayon sa ginawa ni salud ay di rin nalalayo sa kataohan ni salud na nagmalupit,nagpabaya,at di makatarungan na pagtrato sa isang alilang OFW..nararapat lang po na isiwalat ang katarantadohan ng opisyal na ganyan para hnd magiging ka awa-awa muli ang mga iba pang kasamang naghahanap buhay at nagsasakripisyo sa isang bansa.MABUHAY KA KASAMANG ALILANG OFW,mrs tenorio..kaw ang tunay na bayani sa kasama mong OFW..

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