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Duterte meets OFW scalded by employer

President Duterte met the overseas Filipino worker scalded by her employer in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia four years ago in Davao City yesterday.

Pahima Alagasi, 26, sustained severe burns after her employer doused her with boiling water.

She returned home Friday after escaping her employer and undergoing treatment at the Raseel Medical Center in Riyadh.

The meeting was not open for media coverage. Alagasi had stayed at the Bahay Kalinga shelter of the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh for the last four years.

She thanked Duterte and other government officials on Friday for bringing her home.

Alagasi filed a complaint for maltreatment against her employer. Her employer also filed a counter-complaint.

Both cases were dismissed by a Saudi court. These delayed Alagasi’s repatriation for four years.

Overseas Workers Welfare Administration chief Hans Leo Cacdac said Alagasi’s two children would be given scholarships up to college. The Department of Foreign Affairs gave her P50,000 in cash assistance.

According to Malacañang, the welfare of OFWs and other Filipinos living and working abroad has always been close to the heart of the President.

In a meeting with Saudi Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif in Malacañang last month, Duterte stressed the need to expand cooperation across many fields, including security, trade and investment, as well as promoting the rights, safety, and well-being of Filipinos in Saudi Arabia.

Last year, Dutere met members of the Filipino community in Saudi Arabia during the sidelines of a state visit.

In his arrival speech, Duterte lauded Arabian King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, saying the Saudi royalty agreed that it is in the interest of both nations to uphold the welfare and well-being of Filipino workers. (Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos)