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Complaint filed vs employer of OFW in Saudi Arabia who may have died of COVID-19

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Complaint filed vs employer of OFW in Saudi Arabia who may have died of COVID-19
According to data from the Department of Foreign Affairs, as of June 9, they have recorded 5,401 COVID-19 infections among Filipinos abroad.
The STAR / Miguel de Guzman

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine government has filed a complaint against the employer of Overseas Filipino Worker Marcelo Tanyag III who is suspected to have died of COVID-19 in Saudi Arabia last week.

Philippine Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Adnan Alonto said in Wednesday’s Laging Handa briefing that the embassy filed “a sort of complaint to his employer because of questionable circumstance under which he died.”

The embassy will also meet with officials of the Kingdom’s Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development—a counterpart of Philippines’ Department of Labor and Employment—to raise the issue.

In a viral video shot before he passed away, Tanyag said he had been feeling unwell since May 23. He added he had been seeking help for days, and was experiencing difficulty in breathing and even walking. He was brought to a clinic, but was eventually returned to a villa.

Tanyag’s son, Frinj, was quoted in a GMA News Online report as saying doctors recommended that the OFW was sent to the hospital, but Frinj said the employer locked his father in a separate building.

Alonto said: “If what we heard and saw in the video is true, that constitutes employer neglect.”

The Department of Foreign Affairs announced Tanyag’s death last week.

Alonto also admitted that they are facing difficulty in flying Tanyag’s remains to the Philippines.

There are limited flights and there is also Saudi Arabia’s mandatory testing for those who died to determine whether it is due to natural causes or COVID-19.

The Philippine envoy also said that the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration will extend help to Tanyag’s family.

Over 3,000 KSA OFWs sign up for repatriation

Alonto set they set up online application for those with exit visas but lack resources to come home to the Philippines. “More than 3,000 OFWs have signed already,” he added.

“We are going to send them home based on first come, first served basis,” he also said.

Offices in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have also resumed operations that would help them facilitate requirements for those who wish to be repatriated, including securing exit visas.

DFA said that as of June 9, they have recorded 5,401 COVID-19 infections among Filipinos abroad. — Kristine Joy Patag

NOVEL CORONAVIRUS OVERSEAS FILIPINO WORKERS
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