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Monday, June 06, 2011

Labor official confirms death of OFW inside the Bahay-Kalinga


An official of the Philippine Overseas Labor office (POLO) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia confirms the reported death of a distress overseas Filipino worker (OFW) inside the Bahay Kalinga (BK), a refuge center for distress women OFWs, according to Migrante-Middle East.


John Leonard Monterona, Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator, said he got a chance to talk with a labor official (who requested not to be named) amid several calls yesterday morning, confirming the report about a distress OFW who was found dead at one of the toilets in the Bahay Kalinga.


"We can't divulge her name as the family in the Philippines is yet to be informed. She is a distress OFW, 44 years old, and was admitted to the Bahay Kalinga months ago. She was sick and the possible cause of her death is cardiac arrest," said Monterona.


Monterona said yesterday morning, report reaching him from distress OFWs in the Bahay Kalinga, the subject OFW was found inside the toilet, without any indication of life.


Amid repeated calls to the concerned officials but to no avail, Monterona issued a statement calling the attention of the post officials saying his group had been receiving reports from inside the Bahay Kalinga in Riyadh that there is a distress OFW who was found dead


Monterona added that Eric Jocson, chairperson of the Kapatiran sa Gitang Silangan (KGS), Migrante affiliate in Riyadh, also conveyed that he received the same reports.


"The report has been confirmed by no less than a POLO official. But we want this incident be investigated," Monterona added.


Monterona said this is not the first time a sick distress OFW died inside the Bahay Kalinga. "Sometime in February, we have received confirmed report of a distress OFW died at the Bahay Kalinga," he added.


"The confirmation that there were OFWs dying inside the BK is also a confirmation that our POLO-OWWA officials in Riyadh are not taking care of our distress and sick women OFWs," Monterona averred.


"If our OFWs are dying inside the BK without care from our POLO-OWWA officials, then these inept officials must be sacked form their jobs," Monterona added.


Monterona noted that they have been receiving previous reports from the distress OFWs that if they're sick, they were not given proper medication, no medicines given despite plea to POLO-OWWA officials.


Bahay Kalinga is managed by the Philippine overseas labor office and OWWA in Riyadh. It serves as a refuge for distress women OFW who have run away from their employers due to abuse and maltreatment.


At present there are about 120 distress OFWs at the Bahay Kalinga including 7 women OFWs with children.

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