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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Sick OFW gets assistance from Filipino migrant groups

A sick OFW in Saudi Arabia today received help from Filipino migrants groups said by Migrante-Middle East (M-ME) regional coordinator John Leonard Monterona.


OFW Josefino Fabianes Atencio, 55 years old, from Lucena City, Quezon province, and last month he suffered a mild stroke at work. Since then, he could not work and needs medication. Thus, with the help of fellow OFWs and friends, he sought assistance from the Riyadh-based affiliate of Migrante, the Kapatiran sa Gitnang Silangan (OFW fellowship in the Middle East).


On March 2009, he arrived in Saudi Arabia to work for a construction company named Saudi Stico Co. Ltd. He was deployed by Nouras recruitment agency with office address at Malate, Manila.


After 6 months working for the company, he and other fellow OFWs who complained of not being paid of their salary for months by their employer, they run away, and thereby became an undocumented a year after their Iqama (work permit) expired.


“He and his fellow undocumented OFWs were able to find jobs with other companies but since they are undocumented they could not get a contractual term employment being absconder from their original employment,” said Joseph Valenzuela, KGS welfare officer.


Valenzula said KGS-Migrante had already endorsed his case to the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh and the Philippine Overseas Labor and OWWA office (POLO-OWWA) and had already filled up a form requesting for his repatriation.


Yesterday, officers and members of ABC Group, an OFW organization of ballroom ‘ageless’ dancers, handed over to OFW Atencio 600 Saudi riyals (P7,000) for his foods and medicines.


Headed by its President Elvira Palares and Andy Don, both ABC Group officials, they visited OFW Atencio along with KGS welfare officer Joseph Valenzuela on his rented room to personally give to him their “small but from the heart” Christmas gift.


OFW Atencio, though looked frail and sick, was able to express his sincere gratitude to his visitors.


On his part, Monterona said Migrante chapters along with the ABC Group and other OFWs organizations in Riyadh will be discussing by Friday to put up a ‘support fund for distress and undocumented’ in support of the like of OFW Atencio.


“The main purpose of putting up a Support Fund for Distress and Undocumented (SFDU) is to help our fellow OFWs in distress and undocumented especially sick OFWs for their medication and daily subsistence, while we are pressing hard the concerned government agencies like POLO-OWWA to provide on-site services to them,” Monterona added.


Monterona appeals to the generosity of our fellow OFWs and their organizations to help us raise a Support Fund for fellow distress OFWs and undocumented who needs help and assistance.


“We welcome our fellow OFWs contribution, in any amount or in goods, so that we could continue helping the distress and undocumented OFWs even if it is not Christmas; helping would be great if it’s done whole year round,” Monterona ended.


For donations, OFWs and their organizations may call John Leonard Monterona, or through this site.



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