The Iloilo Provincial Government's 24/7 inter-agency help desk has successfully facilitated the repatriation of an Ilonggo domestic worker from Qatar.
The household worker, whose name is kept confidential, returned to the country on January 17, 2020. She is from Santa Barbara, Iloilo.
Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA-6) welfare case officer Jack Arroyo said she was a victim of maltreatment by her employer.
“We requested the Philippine Embassy to intervene in bringing her home. It was her agency who processed the repatriation,” Arroyo said.
Two more Ilonggo OFWs based in Lebanon are waiting for their schedule to return home. They are from San Miguel town and Mandurriao in Iloilo City.
Both work as household workers and are victims of illegal recruitment. Their relatives sought assistance of the desk last January 14.
Arroyo said they immediately referred the cases to the Philippine Embassy.
“Lebanon OFWs are being repatriated in batches so I think the two is part of the second or third batch,” he said.
OWWA assured that they have job integration programs for returning OFWs.
The Operation Bulig Ilonggo help desk was launched on January 10 to cater to distressed Ilonggo OFWs and their families who are affected by the Iran-US tensions.
It offers the following services: referral of requests for assistance (e.g. repatriation, communication); updates on the status and whereabouts of distressed OFWs in Middle East; and international calls and video calls.
As of January 20, 16 cases were catered and referred to the Embassy. Arroyo clarified that the cases are not directly related to the tensions but mostly concern maltreatment and health issues.
For inquiries you may contact the help desk thru its landline 320-3975 and E-mail address BuligIlonggo@iloilo.gov.ph. Louine Hope Conserva