An OFW in New Zealand was exposed to exploitation that he reduced to eating dog food. Thankfully, a Christchurch woman, Sara Brunton helped the Filipino migrant worker to file a complaint.
Sara met Kim Villaranda when he carpeted her garage. Out of desperation and in need to let out how he feels, Villaranda opened-up to Sarah about being exploited, working 20 hours with no rest. He also struggles financially that he depends on the foods parcels from the City Mission and also meat bones for dogs sold in supermarket.
Having heard his story, Brunton did everything to help the migrant worker.
“I couldn’t look the other way,” she said.
Villaranda said that he is so thankful for Brunton’s help to officially file a complaint as he really felt suicidal at that time.
“It’s a blessing that someone hears my problems because I’m just nobody here in New Zealand, I’m just a worker, just a migrant and I don’t know your law.”
Though exploited, Villaranda wants to continue working in New Zealand to give a better life for his wife and three daughters in the Philippines. And to pay his $15,000 credit to his uncle where he used the money for recruitment fees to come in New Zealand.
He is now on a visitor Visa while he looks for a new job in New Zealand. He also expresses his hope for NZ immigration to allow him to stay while he waits for the pay claim against his previous employer.
The Labour Inspectorate in NZ had interviewed his previous employer, Derek Chui and said that though Chui is not a perfect employer and don’t have the best record, he has been doing his best to follow every rule since last year.
The Philippine embassy is so worried about the rising exploitation of workers in NZ that it plans to open a labor office located in NZ before the year ends.