Image Caption: Philippine Labour Attaché David Des Dicang (centre) with UFOQ Chairman Ressie S Fos (left) and GMA 7 correspondent Manny Flores during the AFJQ Teleradyo Monday.
By Raynald C Rivera | The Peninsula
More than 50 distressed Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) under the care of the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Doha have already been repatriated a month after the state visit of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, said Labour Attaché David Des Dicang.
Philippine Labour and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello III, who was part of the delegation, visited 86 distressed OFWs temporarily sheltered at the Philippine Overseas Labour Office (POLO) and requested for their repatriation.
“Secretary Bello asked if they can be repatriated by the end of June and as of now more than 50 have already been repatriated. Those remaining have police or court-related cases,” explained Dicang during Monday night’s episode of AFJQ Teleradyo, an online public service programme of United Filipino Organisations in Qatar (UFOQ) and the Alliance of Filipino Journalists in Qatar (AFJQ).
He said efforts are ongoing to send back home those left of the 86 in cooperation with concerned agencies such as the Assistance to Nationals (ATN) section at the Philippine Embassy.
“We’ll do everything to achieve that request to have them repatriated. We are continuously helping them through the ATN,” he said.
There are around 100 distressed OFWs sheltered at the old POLO-OWWA headquarters which is now called Migrant Workers and Other Filipino Resources Center (MWOFRC) since it relocated to a bigger space on the 20th floor of Al Jazeera Tower in West Bay, he added.
With the relocation of POLO-OWWA office, OFWs under its care now have bigger space in the old office, which does not only serve as their temporary shelter but also as a venue where they continue to avail of various trainings which will be useful when they return to the Philippines.
The Migrant Workers and Other Filipino Resources Center can now also conduct more workshops, outreach services and trainings on entrepreneurship and financial literacy, among others.
“Having relocated to a new office has resulted to a more efficient delivery of services to the growing population of Filipinos in Qatar because we have a bigger space and new setup which includes the presence of counters and queuing system,” Dicang explained.
Since the new POLO-OWWA office officially opened a month ago, there has been an increase in the number of people who come to avail of their various services including SSS (Social Security System), OWWA (Overseas Workers Welfare Administration) membership and OEC (overseas employment certificate) online registration, in addition to verification of employment documents for household service workers and assisting those with problems with their companies.
“Also, the new office is just a stone’s throw away from the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs where we can directly endorse the concerns of our compatriots,” he added.
Anchored by UFOQ Chairman Ressie S Fos and GMA 7 correspondent Manny Flores, AFJQ Teleradyo is a public service programme for Overseas Filipinos in Qatar.