Press Release
June 20, 2018

Sen. Joel Villanueva's statement on the alleged suicide of 2 OFWs in Saudi Arabia, Lebanon

We express our deepest condolences to the family of our two overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who reportedly committed suicide while they are abroad providing for their families left behind.

We hope that the authorities in Beirut and Riyadh will immediately finish the investigation on whether there was a foul play in the deaths of our kababayans.

We also urge our lead agencies the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to provide all necessary assistance to our fallen OFWs and their loved ones.

We would also like to stress the importance of mental health amongst our OFWs who are experiencing depression while they are away from their families.

Further, we want to reiterate our call for the passage of Senate Bill No. 1819 or "An Act Establishing The Office For Social Welfare Attache" which provides: a) adequate and timely social, economic and legal services to OFWs; b) deployment of social welfare attaches to manage cases of OFWs in distress; and c) ensures coordination among agencies and various groups to address the psychosocial needs of distressed OFWs.

We believe that having permanent social welfare attaches in our embassies can help prevent incidents of suicide and cases of abuse against our modern-day heroes.

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