Overseas Filipino Workers – iNews.com.ph
Duterte grants OFW’s wish in HK

President Rodrigo Duterte gave a round-trip ticket to a Filipina working in HongKong who only wishes to return to the Philippines to check on her children.

During his unannounced visit in a Jollibee branch in HongKong, the President met household worker Alma Pardillo.

Pardillo, the Palace said, shed tears as she met Duterte and his family.

“During her conversation with the President, Pardillo shared that she badly wants to visit her family in the Philippines to personally check the condition of her son who is suffering from a serious lung ailment,” Malacanang said in a statement.

The Filipina overseas worker also hoped to attend the graduation of her two children — one finished a business administration degree last month and another one will complete an accounting technology degree by the end of April.

“President Duterte immediately granted Pardillo’s wish for round trip tickets. The OFW said she was allowed by her employer to have a two-week vacation,” it said.

Even without declaring his visit in the fastfood chain, the Philippine President was greeted warmly by the people inside and outside of Jollibee.

“The President personally placed their orders at the counter. While waiting for their meals, he granted selfie requests and chatted with Filipinos who were exultant to see him,” it said.

“Before leaving, the President greeted the Filipinos waiting outside and told them, ‘Okay natayo. Okay na ang bayan,'” Malacanang added.

Joining the President were his partner Honeylet Avanceña, their daughter Veronica, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio and Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence Go.

The President was in Hong Kong following his participation in the Boao Forum for Asia 2018 in Hainan, China.

Kuwait approves Duterte’s terms on OFW deal

President Rodrigo Duterte has succeeded in his quest to intensify protection for Filipinos working in the Middle East region.

During his visit in HongKong on April 12, Duterte announced the good news that the Kuwait government agreed to the conditions he wanted to include in the draft agreement.

“I’m going to Kuwait maybe for the signing. And I have made so many demands before we sign the contract. And in fairness to the Kuwait government, pumayag sila,” he told of the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) there.

“I think that to give honor also to the Kuwaiti government, I will go there for the signing just to witness it,” he added.

The conditions he was referring to were: OFWs to be given a day off every week; their passports and cellphones should not be confiscated.

Duterte also urged OFWs to call him if they have complaints.

“My number is probably Manila, 638888. That’s the hotline. 8888 lang,” he said.

The Kuwait government, he noted, also agreed to allow Filipinos to cook their own food, except for food that are forbidden in Islam.

“Sinabi ko sa Cabinet ng meeting, mahirap lang tayo. There’s not enough for everybody. But if everything goes wrong here, we have to accept our countrymen and spend all available money para makatulong sa kanila,” he said.

“’Bahala na,’sabi ko. Magtiis tayo and maybe there’s always God who thinks about equality in this planet. Tutulungan rin tayo ng Diyos,” he added.

DOLE eyes mobile alert app for OFWs

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is aiming to have web-based alert system targeted for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

The agecy said OFWs can download the app in their smartphones which they can use to alert authorities.

“We will be coming out with a web-based alert system, which OFWs can easily download. With just one push of the alert button, help will immediately come to them,” DOLE Undersecretary Ciriaco Lagunzad said in a press briefing on February 21.

He added OFWs in Kuwait may the first ones to use this app.

Lagunzad with senior government officials were set to fly to Kuwait on the next day to check the situation of Filipino workers there and to recommend actions to deal with their situations.

“Kami po ay pupunta sa Kuwait, Saudi Arabia at Qatar bukas upang siguraduhin na ang ating mga OFW ay may spat na proteksyon,” he said.

“Pupunta kami doon para alamin kung ano kalagayan nila at ipatupad utos Presidente,” added Lagunzad.

Moreover, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) also vowed to cooperate to help OFWs.

“We will provide thru our ASSIST WELL centers…once again DOLE agencies will provide assistance in terms of welfare, employment, livelihood and legal assistance,”OWWA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac said.

Bahrain vowed to protect OFWs rights

Amidst the controversy involving Filipinos working in the Middle East, the Kingdom of Bahrain has vowed to protect Overseas Filipino Workers’ (OFW).

On February 13, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Bahrain’s Prime Minister HRH Prince Khalifa bin Salam Al Khalifa met with Philippine Ambassador Alfonso Ver on February 11.

DFA noted Khalifa “expressed concern over the welfare of Filipino workers in Bahrain and assured that the government of Bahrain is committed to protect their rights while they are here in the Kingdom.”

He assured his office would be open to all Filipino workers reporting cases of abuses whether by employers or agencies in Bahrain.

Khalifa also said the Kingdom has always been welcoming to overseas workers, but he prefers Filipinos as he admire them for being “efficient and very good workers.” He even added that there are Filipinos who work in his office and palace.

Ver, on the other hand, showed appreciation for the Bahrain leader’s “genuine concern for Filipino Workers” and stressed that “Filipinos in Bahrain have, in general, received good treatment from their employers.”