Sarangani OFWs get cash aid from OWWA

25 Feb 2018
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ALABEL, Sarangani (February 25, 2018) – Seventeen distressed and displaced Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in Sarangani have received P20,000 cash assistance each from the Balik Pinas! Balik Hanapbuhay! (BPBH) Livelihood program of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).

Charles Kevin Bataga, Family Welfare Officer of OWWA Region 12, said four OFWs from Alabel, five from Glan, and eight from Malapatan received the aid on February 15 at the Provincial Capitol.

The cash assistance is an added feature to the upgraded BPBH livelihood program aimed at providing better services to returning OFWs from being a non-cash assistance program.

The upgraded program also includes entrepreneurship development training to jumpstart their chosen viable business venture.

One of the recipients, Theresa Orquillas, 37, lamented that she was only given Kuboos (Arabic bread) for a meal and had been accused to have stolen valuable items of her female employer in Kuwait.

One day, when the family brought her to the house of her female employer’s sister, the sister maltreated her for allegedly stealing jewelry. This prompted her to beg for help from her male employer that she be allowed to go home which the employer, out of pity, consented and secretly bought her a plane ticket.

“Wala nako nakuha akong tulo ka bulan nga sweldo,” Orquillas said. She was not able to get her three months salary and brought home nothing to her family in Lun Padidu, Malapatan, the teary-eyed Orquillas said.

Orquillas said she worked in Kuwait for only one year and four months and admitted her fright to again apply for work abroad.

With the cash assistance from OWWA, Orquillas was very thankful that she could now have start-up capital for a sari-sari store. She has only one son but her husband is jobless.

Governor Steve Chiongbian Solon has aired out his sentiments on the plight of OFWs from Sarangani especially with the news about Maricris Bongcaras Senato, a migrant worker in Saudi Arabia from Malapatan, who reportedly died of heart attack.

Senato’s remains arrived last January 4.

Governor Solon said Senato’s family still doubted the real cause of their kin’s death despite documents from the Middle East testifying the cause of death of the OFW since Senato had never been diagnosed of heart disease.

With the string of deaths of Filipino migrant workers and their distressing plight, Solon stressed the need for a massive information drive to shun OFWs and would-be migrant workers away from illegitimate recruitment agencies. (Beverly C. Paoyon/SARANGANI COMMUNICATIONS SERVICE)

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