Covid-19 assistance: Filipino welfare officer in Dubai suspended after allegedly swearing at expat
The Filipina expat said she spoke with Flores on the phone to raise a concern about a food assistance package.
A welfare officer at the Philippine Overseas Labour Office (Polo) in Dubai has been suspended after reportedly swearing at a Filipina who raised a concern about a food assistance package for those hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.
In a directive issued on Friday, April 17, Philippine Labour Secretary Silvestre Bello III has placed welfare officer Danilo Flores under administrative suspension for alleged misconduct.
Bello also ordered an investigation into the incident, which came to light after a Dubai resident named Joy Parafina vented her anger in a video that quickly went viral on Facebook.
In her video, Parafina said she went to a grocery store to claim a relief package from the Philippine government, but then she wanted to confirm whether it was worth Dh200 - the amount of food assistance she was expecting to receive from the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (Owwa).
The package, she claimed, contained two 5kg bags of rice and some canned goods. She asked the store's staff for a receipt and other details but was told that she should call the Polo instead.
She said she spoke with Flores on the phone to ask for an explanation, however, a heated argument ensued. Parafina claimed the welfare officer called her ungrateful, insulted her, and swore at her.
The Philippine labour chief said Flores was placed on suspension from the performance of his duties as welfare officer pending investigation of the incident.
Bello also assured the public of labour department's continuing welfare and assistance programs for overseas Filipino workers.