On March 8, 2019, OFW Newsbeat featured the case of an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) in the person of Baby Jane Allas, 38 who was terminated by her employer in January for having stage 3 cervical cancer.
She was helped by her sister’s employer to raise funds to cover some of the expenses for her treatment which includes radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
A month after she was featured in OFW Newsbeat, Allas was awarded damages by a Hong Kong court on Monday, April 15, in a case of exploitation of foreign women working as maids serving the wealthy families of Hong Kong.
Following her termination, Allas who is a single mother of 5 children has also lost her healthcare benefits and had to apply for visa extensions just to extend her stay in Hong Kong to look for work to support her children and augment the expenses for her medication.
Allas undergoes cancer treatment like radiation therapy 5 days a week and chemotherapy once a week.
After her struggles and with the help of her sister’s employer and other concerned citizens who extended assistance to her, she was able to fight for her right against her employer’s exploitation of her. Allas and her former employer reached a settlement of HK30,000 ($3,800) at Hong Kong’s labour tribunal for sickness allowance, medical fees and wages in lieu of notice.
Allas said outside the hearing that day, “I am standing here right now to encourage more workers to come out if they have these kinds of cases.” She also added hat she is hoping and praying that she may find a kind employer who can understand her situation.
She recalled that she was not treated very well by her previous employers. She was given leftover food and she slept on a thin comforter in a store room.
Part of Allas’ treatment and medication are being shouldered by sponsors. Her plight has gained the social media’s sympathy and there are major sponsors who are working to generate funds for her treatment and major surgery to remove her tumors.