Hundreds of OFWs to be repatriated
Mayen Jaymalin (The Philippine Star) - February 5, 2016 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines – Hundreds of distressed overseas Filipino workers are awaiting repatriation from various countries.

Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz yesterday said the Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLOs) in 18 countries are processing the repatriation of the distressed OFWs who have sought refuge in government-operated halfway homes.

She directed all POLOs to double their efforts in repatriating those housed in their halfway homes, which shall be turned into training centers for OFWs, she added.

Last year, POLOs repatriated 480 OFWs.         

Meanwhile, members of Migrante yesterday marched to the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration main office in Pasay City to seek the removal of the mandatory $25 per contract contribution.

OWWA must adopt a policy allowing lifetime membership for OFWs and their families, Migrante said.

Under the current policy, failure to pay and renew the $25 mandatory contribution per contract (usually every two years) disqualifies an OFW from enjoying the programs and welfare services of OWWA.

Garry Martinez, Migrante official, said OWWA’s services discriminated against irregular or undocumented OFWs, which constitute a majority of those in distress.

He cited the case of Eugenia Bayer Perez, a domestic worker who was paralyzed after she fell off the rooftop of her workplace in the United Arab Emirates.

Last Sept. 10, Perez, along with at least 100 other OFWs, filed claims at the OWWA but was told that she does not qualify for full disability because she still has use of her eyes and both her arms.        

EUGENIA BAYER PEREZ GARRY MARTINEZ LABOR SECRETARY ROSALINDA BALDOZ LAST SEPT NBSP OFWS OVERSEAS WORKERS WELFARE ADMINISTRATION PASAY CITY PEREZ PHILIPPINE OVERSEAS LABOR OFFICES UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
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