58 distressed OFWs repatriated from Jeddah in first 2 months of 2009
RONALDO CONCHA, GMANews.TV03/13/2009 06:05 PM
MANILA, Philippines - Officials of the Philippine mission in Jeddah said that it has been a good start for 2009 as the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and the consulate’s Assistance to National Section (ANS) sent home 58 distressed overseas Filipino workers (OFW) just for the first two months of the year.
Welfare Officer Romeo Pablo said most of the workers whom they sent home were domestic helpers who ran away from their employers because of unpaid wages.He said that they succeeded in obtaining exit visas for the workers concerned and even got their compensation for them, adding that it was all due to the support from all the departments in the consulate led by Consul General Ezzedin Tago.
Two of the workers that the Philippine mission sent home were Judy and Munera – both of whom were brought to the consulate because they were perceived to be mentally ill. Judy went home last January and Munera in February.
Several other domestic helpers were reportedly sick with cancer and were bedridden, but, despite their situation, still had the strength to run away from their employers and ask help from Philippine officials.
Aside from them, some Filipino family drivers who left their employers and preferred to seek employment in the Philippines once more were also sent home.There are currently 40 Filipino workers at the care of OWWA while their individual cases are being resolved – one of whom is an old diabetic sewer who recently got his foot cut off.
The number of runaway OFWs are seeking help from the consulate in Jeddah appears to be endless.“Importante lang dito ay ang tulungan sa pagitan ng mga distressed at ng ating mga opisyal para sa mabilisang pagresolba ng kanilang mga kaso at walang sawang pagbibigay ng serbisyo na sya naming sinisikap na maisakatuparan dito sa konsulado," said Pablo.
[What’s important is the cooperation between the distressed and the Philippine officials so that cases may be resolved right away and the kind of service that the consulate is trying to offer]He said that Filipino workers abroad must not forget that they can always ask the Philippine posts for help.“Dapat maisa-isip palagi ng ating mga kababayan dito na agad silang dumiretso ng konsulado sakaling tumakas sila sa kanilang mga amo para maiwasan ang mas malaking problema," said Pablo.[They should always ask the consulate first for help every time they run away from their employers so that bigger problems can be avoided] - with Kimberly Jane T. Tan, GMANews.TV