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‘Missing maid’ reported to have fled to China

18 October 2017

Jelyn Olivar, the 'runaway' maid
By Vir B. Lumicao

A Filipina maid reported missing for three days had reportedly sent an online message to a friend just before 1am this morning, Oct. 18, saying she was ok, and asked that the search for her be stopped.
Jelyn J. Olivar did not say where she was, but said she was in some "big place".
“I’m fine don’t worry wag kaung gumawa ng anong hakbang na lalong magpagulo sa aking sitwasyon... ang mahalaga buhay ako,” said the message reportedly sent by Olivar to her friend.
“Hayaan nio na maging missing in action ako dito sa HK…wag nio na palawakin pa ang paghahanap sa akin…safe ako at maayos ang kinalalagyan ko.”
Her apparent flight prompted a warning from Labor Attache Jalilo dela Torre that  Filipino helpers should not abandon their wards, particularly children and old people.
He said that in such a situation, their employers could explore Hong Kong’s law that penalizes neglect of a ward by those assigned to take care of them.
Olivar’s disappearance on Oct 15 sparked widespread concern about her safety. She had reportedly left her employers in Marina Cove, Sai Kung before noon that day, supposedly to meet with friends in a church despite the stormy weather, but never did.
Many of her friends went online to ask for help in locating her, and were even joined by her husband who professed not knowing about her plans.
It was not known what had prompted the flight of Olivar, a 32-year-old mother of three and former OFW in Saudi Arabia, who had been with her Hong Kong employers for just five months.
Labatt Dela Torre, who was informed of Olivar’s disappearance on Oct 17, said he received word today that the Filipina had crossed over to China.
In this case, he said the employers can have Olivar watch-listed. And if that happens, he said the absconding maid would not likely be allowed to work in Hong Kong again.
“If  they have plans of going to other countries for employment purposes, they should be honest with their employers and also consult with the Consulate," Labatt dela Torre said. "Kasi kung may mga countries silang pupuntahan na wala namang kasiguraduhan, lalo lang silang (mapapahamak)."
Danny Baldon of the assistance to nationals section of the Consulate echoed the view that runaway helpers would find it difficult to work again in Hong Kong.
Worse, they could be detained on re-entry if their employers lodged criminal charges against them.
This is not the first time that a Filipina helper had run away from her employer, but the Philippine Overseas Labor Office has reportedly not compiled statistics.
“That’s tough to count because employers rarely report these incidents except when, aside from abandoning, the worker also committed other grave offenses like stealing, abandoning and endangering their wards,” Labatt Dela Torre said.
In many of the cases, the Filipina helper would decide to stay put in the Philippines while supposedly only on vacation.

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