Tuesday, January 25, 2011

DFA: 28 distressed OFWs from Bahrain arrive home

At least 28 distressed overseas Filipino workers from Bahrain arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Tuesday.

Representatives from the Department of Foreign Affairs’ Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs (DFA-OUMWA) and Ambassador to Bahrain Corazon Bahjin welcomed the OFWs.

"Most of the repatriated OFWs absconded from their employers due to experiences of reduced, delayed or non-payment of salaries, long working hours, heavy workload, inadequate food provision and abuse, among others," the DFA said in a news release on its website.

Ira Pozon, a representative of the Office of the Vice President, and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) representatives were also present to welcome the OFWs at the airport, the DFA said.

"The Philippine Embassy in Bahrain made strong representations with the OFWs' employers, with the police and immigration authorities and with the courts for their visa cancellation, for their appropriate clearances and for their cases' speedy resolutions," the DFA said.

It added the Philippine Embassy also provided shelter and basic amenities to the OFWs during their stay in Bahrain.

The DFA-OUMWA used the Assistance-to-Nationals fund to buy plane tickets for 26 of the OFWs, while a Bahrain non-governmental organization (NGO) bought the tickets of the other two repatriates.

Bahrain's Pars International Hotel and Filipino community leader Bobby Calimoso provided transportation services to the repatriates.

At least 25 of the 28 OFWs were undocumented workers who were illegally recruited and deployed to work in Bahrain.

Last week, some 80 other distressed OFWs arrived from Kuwait. (See: 80 distressed OFWs to arrive from Kuwait Friday)—JV, GMANews.TV

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