2 Filipino workers killed in Saudi fire

admin   •   May 22, 2018   •   7803

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Two overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) were killed in a blaze that struck their  construction site in Saudi Arabia early Sunday, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said in a statement released Monday.

The victims were identified as Jessie Alata Pacetes and Reynaldo Barroga Castro, both heavy equipment drivers and operators employed by a major Saudi construction company that was working on a road project in Najran.

Consul General Edgar Badajos said the two victims died in their sleeping quarters at their jobsite located some 60 kilometers from Najran.

The Department of Foreign Affairs expressed its sympathies to the families of the victims.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the loved ones of our two kababayan who lost their lives in the tragedy,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter S. Cayetano said after he was informed of the incident.

He added that the Philippine Consulate General in Jeddah has sent a team in Najran to work out arrangements with the employer for the immediate repatriation of the remains of the victims and secure whatever benefits that are due them.

Although the fire was believed to have been caused by faulty electrical wiring, the Philippine Consulate is seeking confirmation from local authorities on the real cause of the fire. — UNTV News & Rescue

800 families lost their home after Mandaluyong fire

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 2, 2020

A huge fire hit Barangay Addition Hills in Mandaluyong City on Monday (June 1).

Dennis Madeo and his two children were at home when the fire broke out. Still in recovery from a stroke, Dennis was not able to save some of their belongings. His wife, who just got back to work during the general community quarantine (GCQ), was safe.

He and his family are currently staying at a evacuation center, still unsure of where to live.

Dennis, along with the other residents, is calling for the government for assistance.

Sana tulungan kami […] hindi ko masabi kasing itong anak ko dalawa (I hope they help us […] I cannot tell what will happen, because I have two children),” he said.

According to Milagrosa Lagadan from the Mandaluyong City Social Welfare and Development, they can only provide limited assistance to the residents.

While they can provide food assistance, the local government cannot provide other necessities including clothing and personal hygiene kits.

The fire reached General Alarm with around P2 million worth of damage. –AAC (with reports from Dante Amento)

Duterte asks LGUs to accept returning OFWs cleared of COVID-19

Marje Pelayo   •   May 5, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte asked local government units to accept returning overseas Filipino workers (OFW) in their areas amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in the country.

This is especially so if the OFWs have completed quarantine protocols and are cleared of the infection.

The President lamented over some LGUs not accepting returning Filipinos in their localities.

“If they are really cleared by the medical authorities, that is binding. It has to be the certification of the Department of Health. If your Department Secretary Duque would certify she has undergone the tests, that she is virus-free, then we have to make arrangements that they can go home,” the President said in a message aired on Monday night (May 4).

“But to say na hindi kayo pwedeng pumasok [But to say that they cannot enter] even after staying there for already more than 14 days without anything happening to them, then the national government — listen, local executives — will insist that you accept the OFWs. Magkakaroon tayo ng problema [We will have a problem] if you resist,” he said warning local officials that he will not hesitate to use his powers against them to be fair to all.

The President said he understands the concerns of LGUs about the risks of spreading the virus by accepting returning OFWs in their respective areas as it is their duty to help and protect their constituents.

But he also emphasized that every Filipino has a constitutional right to travel which the LGUs cannot simply ignore.

Importante lang na [It is important that] the returning workers, our brothers and sisters who have labored abroad to give us also their share of their income with us, we do not want to repay them with this kind of behavior,” he stressed.

He said there are still thousands of returning OFWs to worry about and what is needed at this time is cooperation among agencies including the LGUs.

READ: LGUs urged to allow entry of repatriated OFWs who completed 14-day quarantine

President Duterte also asked LGUs to provide OFWs with temporary shelter in their localities to help contain the virus and for them not to spend much of their hard-earned money which they expect to bring home to their families.

“Rather just leave them there stranded, they have money for their pockets intended as savings for their family,” he said.

“Their money would run out and they would go home with their pockets empty. We do not want that to happen,” the President concluded. MNP (with inputs from Rosalie Coz)

250 families lost their homes in Davao City fire

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 30, 2020

Over 250 families lost their homes in a fire at New Society Village in Barangay Ilang, Davao City on Wednesday (April 29).

Based on the initial investigation of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), the fire started at 2:30 a.m. and lasted for two hours. The cause of the fire possibly came from electrical ignition. No casualties were reported in the incident.

According to Barangay Captain Amado Babao, they continue to observe social distancing protocols even when the affected families are currently in evacuation centers.

“Itong mga nasunugan, idinivide natin ito sa tatlong groups para ma-observe natin ang social distancing sa mga taong nasunugan, (The families affected by the fire are divided into three groups to observe social distancing),” he said.

Meanwhile, Davao City government said they will install individual shelters for the quarantined persons affected by the fire. AAC (with reports from Janice Ingente)

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