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PIA Press Release

Senator Villar seeks Senate probe on RP posts' assistance for OFWs

By Freddie G. Lazaro

Vigan City (September 16) -- Senator Manuel Villar pushed for a senate inquiry on the procedures followed by the diplomatic posts and the Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLO) in providing assistance to distress Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). On the death of the OFW in the Middle East due to acid burns.

"The fact that many of our kababayans continue to suffer and die overseas, this signify us that there is a need to review the appropriation and programs for OFW assistance. This could mean the tightening of existing laws with regard to overseas recruitment and the establishment of OFW-centered diplomatic posts and POLO offices," Villar said in a press statement received here.

In addition, Villar filed a proposed Senate Resolution No. 190 urging the senate's Committees on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development and Foreign Relations to look into the performance of POLO, as the satellite office of the Department of Labor and Employment, in attending to the problems of Filipino workers abroad.

Villar also cited the case of a number of stranded migrant Filipinos in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia who are in need of repatriation and assistance.

"Our government should be aggressive in pushing for protection mechanisms of our OFW workers. A people-oriented foreign relations policy should be put in place where the safety and welfare of our workers is guaranteed. There must be a system to address their needs when they encounter trouble overseas and to bring them back if need," he said.

The latest reported OFW death casualty on abuses of employer in the Middle East was Romilyn Eroy-Ibanez, 22, a household service worker in Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia. Ibanez was found dead on September 8, 2010 at her employer's kitchen with stab wounds in her neck, abdomen and wrist, as well as acid burns in her mouth, arms and legs.

Ibanez is a native of North Cotabato. She arrived in Saudi on May 31 supposedly as a nursing aide. The attending physician said that it is impossible for Ibanez to have committed suicide by stabbing herself and ingesting the acid at the same time. (PIA Ilocos Sur) [top]

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