Department of Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello III is doubting that the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia were actually scavenging for food. He claims that the fruits that the OFWs got were rejects from the grocery.
“Naniniwala ba kayo na ang isang Pilipino, isang marangal at may dangal na tao, ay kakain ng basura? The truth of the matter is may mga dinedeliver na prutas sa groceries, iyong hindi pumasa sa groceries, iyon ang pinag-aagawan ng mga kasamahan natin,” says Bello.
Bello claims that he doesn’t believe that a Filipino will be willing to eat from the trash.
“Di po ito basura. Hindi po ako naniniwala na may Pilipinong kakain ng basura. Ewan ko po sa inyo, your honor, pero wala pa akong nakitang Pilipino na kumain ng basura,” he said.
Meanwhile, Philippine Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Adnan Alonto agreed to the statement of Bello that the food was not trash.
“Ang pagkakaalam po natin, base po sa reports ng ating case officers, sila po ay nabigyan po sila ng tulong. Iyong location po nila, malapit sa bakala, iyong mga mini-marts po. Ang nangyari po, iyong mga gulay na di pumasa sa quality standard ng grocery, they go to the garbage, iyon po ang kinukuha ng mga kababayan natin,” says Alonto.
Alonto further said that Filipinos tend to recycle food as long as the outer appearance still looks great. However, Alonto was disappointed because the OFW who was interviewed by GMA News actually received a financial aid amounting to P9,100 or 700 Saudi Riyals.
“Ang hindi ko lang po nagustuhan, iyong mismong nainterview, nakatanggap ng DOLE AKAP (financial assistance for displaced OFWs), 700 riyals po. Hindi siguro tama na gamitin iyong video na ito na maipakita na di natutulungan ng gobyerno,” says Alonto.
“Sana huwag nilang gawin iyon, ine-expose nila yung sarili nila sa criminal action by their employers, very strict po ang cybercrime laws roon. Makakadagdag [rin] sa bigat ng problema ng embahada at ng POLO (Philippine Overseas Labor Office),” he added.
Bello is also doubtful over the claims of an OFW who allegedly sold his blood to buy food.
Source GMA NEWS