Wednesday, January 21, 2009

January 21, 2009

Cancer-stricken OFW in Jeddah finally leaves for home
01/21/2009 07:12 PM

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JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia – A 61-year-old Filipina domestic helper who is suffering from cancer has finally left for home after a long wait in Jeddah.Fely Borlongan boarded a Saudi Arabian Airlines flight Tuesday night and arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Wednesday afternoon.

Vice Consul Lorenzo Jungco, Assistance to Nationals head of the Philippine Consulate General in Jeddah, said Borlongan left together with Nashral Hasilun, another distressed OFW.Both workers sought refuge at the shelter for distressed women workers being maintained by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) inside the consulate compound.

Jungco said that Borlongan, a native of Hagonoy, Bulacan escaped from her employer in 2007 due to a disagreement. In August last year, she was diagnosed to have lung cancer.She said she had been undergoing medication with the help of a friend but decided to seek help from the consulate last November so that she could spend time with her family.

ANS staff Elsa Masa said Borlongan was able to leave early because her former employer agreed to secure an exit visa for her. Before leaving for Jeddah airport on Tuesday, Borlongan told GMAnews.TV she was so distraught because of her health condition and that she had lost what little belongings she had.

Borlongan said a snatcher ran away with her bag containing some jewelry, a cellular phone and about 1,100 riyals just last week.Borlongan and Hasilun were given a tearful farewell by their colleagues at the OWWA shelter, who are also awaiting their repatriation to the Philippines.

As of Tuesday, the shelter, known as the Filipino Workers Resource Center (FWRC), had 70 remaining wards, mostly domestic helpers who have fled their employers either because of abuse, maltreatment or non-payment of wages.The oldest among the wards is a 63-year-old domestic helper who was supposed to go home together with Borlongan, but whose departure was delayed due to some glitches in her exit visa. - GMANews.TV

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