SIX months after she left home for Kuwait, the remains of Helen Riobuya Sarocam, an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) who allegedly committed suicide in Kuwait, arrived home Thursday evening.
Philippine Airlines (PAL) flight PR1825 carrying the remains of Sarocam arrived at the F. Bangoy International Airport in Davao City around 10:30 p.m.
Sarocam allegedly jumped to her death around 5 a.m. from the fifth floor of her agency's accommodation in Hawally, Kuwait, where she temporarily stayed on May 22, just two days before her scheduled flight back home on May 24.
Sarocam, who hailed from Barangay Tubo-Tubo, Purok 7A Tinago in Monkayo Town, Compostela Valley, arrived in Kuwait on December 19, 2014 to work as a household service worker (HSW), also known as domestic helper.
Her eldest daughter, Charline Sarocam, said that contrary to reports that her mother worked for only two employers, Helen had four one after another before she was returned by her last employer to her agency.
"Nagbalhin-balhin siya og employer kay wala siya nakaangay (She moved from one employer to another)," she said.
According to her, Helen was returned to her agency after she had problems with her first lady employer, while she left the succeeding two when she was no longer comfortable working for them.
The last employer, meanwhile, returned her to the agency after she complained of homesickness and could no longer serve the two-year contract.
"Ingon siya mura na daw siya og mabuang (She said she would go crazy)," she said.
Rey Elaya, welfare officer of Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (Owwa)-Davao, told reporters Thursday night that the agency's personnel based in Kuwait are closely working with authorities in the investigation process.
"Katong adlawa nga nangayo og tabang ang pamilya, ato dayon ning giduso ang maong balita didto sa Owwa-Kuwait (That day when the family asked for help, we immediately reported this to Owwa-Kuwait)," he said.
For her part, Irish Maquilan, spokesperson for Mindanao Migrants Center for Empowering Action Inc. (Migrante), said they sought help from the agency on April 19, but they were allegedly not entertained.
She lambasted the "labor export policy" of the government that encouraged Filipinos, who are seeking for greener pastures, to work abroad only to be abused by their employers with little to no protection.
If the findings of the investigation will prove Helen had committed suicide, Elaya said the immediate family will receive P120,000 assistance from Owwa as is the case of an OFW who dies of natural death.
For OFWs, meanwhile, who die of accidental death, families will get P200,000 plus P20,000 burial assistance.
He said it took about a month before her repatriation was scheduled, as the employer would still have to issue an exit visa, which could not be processed immediately, pending the medical check-ups that had to be done on her.
"Medyo allegedly wala na siya sa tamang paghuna-huna samtang naa sa accommodation (Allegedly, she was not in a right state of mind while at the accommodation)," he added.
It was reported that Helen was suffering from depression due to homesickness when she jumped off the building.
Helen left three children Charline, Charlon John, and Cybil Ken.