Press Release
April 6, 2011

Sagip-OFW Helpline

SENATOR Manny Villar on Wednesday made true his promise once again to help distressed overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) by making possible the return to the country of at least 15 Filipino workers who were abused and maltreated in Dubai.

Villar, the president of the Nacionalista Party (NP) and founding chairman of the Villar Foundation, reunited the 15 OFWs with their respective families through his Sagip OFWs Program, one of the flagship programs of the Villar Foundation.

He made the return possible by giving them assistance in the facilitation of their travel documents and shouldering their plane fares.

The OFWs who arrived Wednesday at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) aboard Emirates Airlines flight EK-332 include Marivic Repana whose employer refused her release despite the expiration of her contract, Jackielyn Diones who was maltreated and has been denied with her two-month salary, and Norilyn Concepcion who was abused by her boss.

The three OFW's were among the many Filipinos seeking refuge at the Filipino Workers Resource Center (FWRC) in Dubai that Villar visited recently.

Villar personally listened to the horrible experiences of troubled OFWs and their immediate needs during a recent dialogue with the Philippine consulate officials in Dubai.

He was saddened by the misfortunes and maltreatment that OFW's have been experiencing with their employers who mostly abused and denied their salaries.

"It's really a pity to know about the bad working conditions of so many OFWs in various countries in the world. I cannot just sit and look because it is my duty to extend sympathies and lend a hand to them during their ordeal. That's why we are doing everything to help facilitate their return to the country and be reunited again with their families and loved ones," said Villar.

Villar was joined by the family members of 15 OFWs who arrived at NAIA as the senator expressed his gratitude to the officials of Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and the Philippine Consulate in Dubai for also helping their return.

He reiterated again his commitment to continue helping distressed OFWs in his own little way he can.

Villar stressed that pompous accolades are not enough to recognize the huge contributions of OFW's in pump-priming the country's economy.

He stressed that recognition to their heroic acts should be backed with immediate concrete and tangible assistance during their trials and sufferings.

Aside from the 15 OFWs who returned, Villar said five more distressed Filipino workers will soon be reunited with their families in the coming days pending the completion of their travel documents for their return to the country.

It will be recalled that Villar always made it a point that he would be able to send back troubled OFWs to the country every time he visits the Middle East.

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