Filipinos who fail to support families can be summoned by home courts

DUBAI — Married non-resident Filipinos who fail to provide financial support to their families can be summoned by a court in the Philippines, said an official from the Philippine Overseas Labour Office-Overseas Workers’ Welfare Administration (POLO-OWWA).

By Criselda E. Diala

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Published: Tue 13 Feb 2007, 9:14 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 2:30 AM

Eduardo Mendoza Jr., Welfare Officer of the POLO-OWWA in Dubai, said that in such cases, wives of Filipinos residing and working abroad were legally entitled to seek a court order, which would then be served to the concerned Filipinos by the Philippine diplomatic mission.

“Once the court order and a formal letter of request addressed to the POLO-OWWA or the Philippine Consulate General are received, we’ll forward the summon to the concerned party,” he said.

Mendoza made this clarification in response to a telephone call made by I.H., a Filipina residing in Pampanga, Philippines, who claimed that her husband, E.H., had not been sending money to her for the past three months.

“We have three children and I just cannot afford to send them all to school on my own. I’ve tried calling my husband on his mobile but he’s ignoring my calls,” the woman alleged. She also accused her husband of having extra-marital relations in Dubai, the reason, she cites, for not sending money home.

However, when contacted by Khaleej Times, E.H. said he had failed to send money to his family since December last year mainly because he was in dire straits, thanks to his ballooning credit card bills. He also said he had already sent money to his family early this month.

Meanwhile, the POLO-OWWA officer admitted that all they could do in such cases was to remind the person concerned about his duty and obligation. “We cannot impose a decision on the person. It’s up to him to heed the request,” he said.

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