Merchants urge gov’t to repatriate stranded OFWs in Jeddah
11/26/2008 05:40 PM
MANILA, Philippines - An association of Filipino merchants on Tuesday urged the Philippine government to expedite the repatriation of stranded OFWs in the western Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah to end their sufferings.
The Filipino Salesman and Merchandisers Association (Filsama) made the appeal after interacting with the stranded workers at the shelter being maintained by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) inside the Philippine consulate compound in Jeddah.Most of the workers are domestic helpers who reportedly ran away from abusive employers.Filsama officers and members led by their president, Abdulmoen “Teng" Laguialam, visited the workers and brought gifts of canned goods, noodles and personal items.
Filsama’s other leaders included Edgardo Santos, vice president; Roberto Bato, secretary-general; Rene Valle, treasurer; auditors Manny Manalo and Ogie Nucump; business managers Frank Reales and Jal delos Reyes; public relations officers Romy dela Cruz, Ramil Portillo, and Jhong Mamang; and sergeants-at-arms Edwin Tulah and Gilbert Chiong. Welfare Officers Nene Lanto and Romeo Pablo accepted the donations on behalf of the stranded workers.
The workers were thankful of the donations that they received.“Wag sana kayong magsawang magbigay sa amin (I hope you will not get tired of helping us)," said Jennebel Cuaresma who spoke for the distressed workers.
The merchant group also thanked the OWWA officials for taking care of the stranded OFWs.But Laguialam said that the year would end better for the workers if Philippine government officials would exert more effort in helping them return home so that they could start life anew.- Ronaldo Concha and Kimberly Jane Tan, GMANews.TV