Wednesday, October 29, 2008

40 more OFWs stranded in Jeddah on way home
06/17/2007 09:37 AM

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At least 40 Filipinos who comprise the second batch of those stranded in Jeddah have left for Manila Saturday night, even as two more batches are still waiting for the green light to go.

Online news site Arab News reported Sunday that the second batch follows the 138 Filipinos who returned home last June 13.It said the second batch of Filipinos boarded a Malaysian Airlines flight, even as 100 others are housed at the deportation center awaiting their flight.

Labor attaché Bulyok Nilong, chief of the Philippine Overseas Labor Office for the Western Region, said the second batch includes women who overstayed their Umrah or Haj visas in the Kingdom, plus some children.About 100 others who have been cleared by the Jawazat (Saudi Passport and Immigration Department) are temporarily housed at the deportation center awaiting their flight.

More than 500 were still at the Jawazat holding area at the Jeddah Seaport for “processing," the Arab News report said.Last Thursday, Consul General Pendosina Lomondot sent consulate staff to the deportation center to give medicines and food, including milk, for the stranded women and children.

Another group led by Juliet Roa of Circulo Ilonggo Saudi Arabia and Aida Merca-Salvacion of SAM 1925 Foundation, Inc. brought medicines to the Jawazat holding area at the seaport.Dr Wilhelmina Victor and a team of health workers provided free medical services for the distressed Filipinos at the holding area on June 13 following reports of illness associated with overcrowding.

One of the Filipinos there, Faisal Bandila, was brought to King Fahd Hospital on Wednesday after he complained that he was unwell.Bandila, 38, a native of Pikit town in North Cotabato province, died at 9:45 p.m. on that same day due to hypertension, according to his wife Tarhata Baganian.Bandila was buried in Jeddah the next day, leaving behind his wife and two young children. - GMANews.TV

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