5 Distressed OFWs get Livelihood Assistance from Villar

MANILA, Philippines – Five overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), who have returned to the country after enduring abuse at the hands of their employers in the Middle East, have been given livelihood and financial assistance.

Senator Cynthia A. Villar said the OFWs will be given assistance to help them put up small businesses.

She has partnered with All Day Supermarket, owned by her family, to provide OFWs with grocery items.

Those given financial assistance and groceries were: Juan Zaragosa, 36; of Balagtas, Bulacan; Jocelyn Montes, 33, Dasmarinas, Cavite; Nenita de Guzman, 35, Parañaque City; Merceditas Dogma, 35, Valenzuela City and Leslie Macalalad, Brgy. San Nicolas, San Pablo City.

Zaragoza was tortured while detained at Malas jail in Riyadh, to force him to admit to using and selling drugs. Despite his innocence, he was sentenced to 2 years’ imprisonment, received 150 lashes and paid a fine of 1000 Saudi Rial. He was only freed after being afforded amnesty during Ramadan and was deported to the country in September last year.

Meanwhile, Montes, a domestic helper, endured physical abuse by her employer in Damman. She worked long hours, was not given enough food and prohibited from leaving the house. Her employer prevented her from seeking medical treatment, so she sought help to be rescued. She was repatriated last December.

De Guzman, a widow and a mother of two, was also made to work for long hours, denied food and experienced sexual advances from her employer.

Dogma, a caregiver and helper, was also subjected to maltreatment by her employer in Damman. She was fed only bread and tea and was made to sleep on the floor without any mat or anything to protect her.

Macalalad, on the other hand, was not properly paid her salary while working as domestic helper in Cyprus.

“We should at all times come to the rescue of Filipino migrant workers who were not lucky enough while working in a foreign land… I hope they will put these ‘pangkabuhayan’ packages and financial support into good use so they can have a source of income so they can stay in our country for good,” Villar said.

(Source: ABS-CBNnews.com)

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