The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) on Friday cautioned on the possible extension of the temporary ban to travel in Kuwait following the death of 12 overseas Filipino workers (OFW) last year.
On January 22, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) issued administrative order no. 25, directing the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) to temporarily suspend the release of overseas employment certificates (OEC) as officials probe the death of the 12 OFWs in Kuwait.
“Grabe ang nangyari dito sa Kuwait kaya naglagay ng ban si Presidente Duterte. Paiimbestigahan natin yung 12 questionable deaths. Kumikilos na ang Philippine embassy to Kuwait at binibigyan na ng OWWA ang mga naulilang pamilya ng financial, livelihood at scholarship assistance,” OWWA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac said an interview with DZRH’s Damdaming Bayan.
Cacdac said that their agency, together with other concerned government departments will be meticulously investigating the “questionable” deaths of the Filipino workers.
According to Cacdac, an estimate of 4.8 million Filipinos have sought employment outside of the country, in which about 2.2 million of them are active.
“Tinatayang nasa 4.8 million po ang ofws. habang sa OWWA po, nasa 2 million ang active members.”
Addressing to quarries of troubled families, Cacdac assured that their office is present in 16 regions nationwide including areas in Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
Giving further aid to maltreated OFWs, OWWA has also doubled the cash grant provided by the government to OFWs to help them establish their own business.
“Tinaasan ang ating ibinibigay na cash benefit na Php 10,000, ginawa na itong Php 20,000 para sa mga distressed OFW,” Cacdac told DZRH.
Meanwhile, on the matter of the housing project scam, OWWA administrator Cacdac aired that they cannot do anything about the incident but will release information regarding the dubious act.
“Wala kaming maitutulong sa OFWs na biktima ng scam sa pabahay dahil naka-sentro lang kami sa welfare nila. Tanging advisory lang ang maibibigay namin,” he said.
According to Manila Broadcasting Company legal counsel, Atty. Rina Seco, some 400 OFWs in Qatar alone have been swindled into buying houses but are not seeking help from lawyers after learning it was a scam.
However, Cacdac assured the public that the OWWA would not cease from catering to the welfare and protection of OFWs and shall continue to provide transport assistance, counseling, legal support, medical aid, and financial grants to returning Filipino workers who experienced cruelty abroad.