December 7, 2022

An overseas Filipino worker in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia expressed her gratitude for being treated like a special person when she arrived in the country for a vacation.

“The service we received was very heartwarming. I was not expecting it to be that efficient and organized,” Janice “Janz” Emboltorio said. 

Janz, a nurse, has been an OFW for 14 years in the Middle East. She arrived in the country on April 14 and said she was more than satisfied with the way she was assisted by the government from the time she stepped out of the plane.

When they arrived, they went through the usual process of going through immigration procedure. There, she was handed a pack containing biscuits and water. At the exit, she got a packed lunch and was led to the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration counter.

From the OWWA counter, they were brought to a room where they can sit and fill up forms, and eat if they so desire. They were also triaged at the airport before they were led to the vehicle waiting to bring them to their accommodation for mandatory quarantine.

“I did not pay for anything, I was given food. I did not have to carry my luggage because there were people assisting us. Upon arrival at the hotel, we simply pointed at our luggage and they brought them to our rooms,” the nurse said.

She said during her stay at a resort facility in Laguna, she received meals four times a day, including water, which was more than enough for her.

She commended their accommodation for serving cooked and well-prepared meals that vary every day.

Emboltorio said she packed food in her luggage that will sustain her during the mandatory quarantine which she was not able to touch because everything was provided.

At the accommodation, there was an OWWA personnel that checks on her welfare, she said.

She said her arrival was communicated to the Philippine government through the online registration at balikpinas.ph where she got instruction on the processes and rules that the country is applying for returning OFWs.

She said she underwent swab testing for the Covid-19 on April 19 and the result came the next day. She went home to Baguio on April 21.

The OWWA, in a report as of May 3, said P69 million in government aid has been released to 6,269 OFWs from the Cordillera and their families.

According to the report, 5,775 OFWs received the P10,000 financial aid or a total of P57.75M released by the government under the Abot Kamay ang Pagtulong program.

There were also 141 who benefited from the Education Assistance through Scholarship in Emergencies,  which is P10,000 assistance for four years to a dependent of an OFW.

For the “Tabang” OFW program where a grant of P30,000 is given, there were already 309 OFWs who benefited.

The project Alalay sa pag-aaral para sa mga anak OFWs sa panahon ng pandemya was also extended to 44 beneficiaries with a P20,000 one-time assistance.

An OWWA representative who reported during the last Benguet Provincial Inter-Agency Task Force meeting said, “The government through the OWWA does not only assist through financial assistance but also through other means with the existing programs to help OFWs and their families.” – PNA