Solon pushes for military honors for OFWs who died of COVID-19 abroad

Marje Pelayo   •   July 7, 2020   •   261

MANILA, Philippines — A lawmaker is pushing for the granting of military honors to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who succumbed to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) abroad as they can be considered as ‘modern-day heroes.’

Senior Citizen Party-list Rep. Francisco Datol Jr. in House Resolution No. 1027 said the sacrifices of OFWs and their significant contribution to the country’s economy are enough to merit them such military honors. 

Based on the latest count of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), a total of 577 OFWs have already died of COVID-19 from the overall number of 8,679 confirmed cases across the globe. 

Datol said OFWs are qualified under The Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines for their unconditional sacrifices as overseas workers. 

The lawmaker also proposed that the government shoulder the complete burial expenses of every OFW who died of COVID-19 abroad as part of the full military honors. 

DFA expedites repatriation of OFWs in Beirut, Lebanon

Marje Pelayo   •   August 10, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The national government is shelling out P15 million to fund the repatriation of overseas Filipinos in Lebanon following two massive explosions in Port of Beirut.

This was revealed by Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddy Locsin in a post on Twitter. 

The said amount will fund a chartered flight with Qatar Airways to fly the Filipinos in Lebanon back home to the Philippines. 

Meanwhile, the Philippines Embassy in Beirut is processing the repatriation of the remains of all four Filipinos who died in the incident. 

Their remains are expected to arrive on August 16.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said about 400 overseas Filipinos from Lebanon are expected to board the chartered flight. 

Before the blasts, the agency has been doing repatriation of Filipinos from Lebanon whose jobs have been impacted by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. 

To date, there are a total 124, 717 Filipinos who returned home from Lebanon since February. 

OFW in Beirut calls for gov’t help after massive blast; 2 Filipinos reported dead

Marje Pelayo   •   August 5, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Traumatized by the recent twin explosions in Beirut, Lebanon, overseas Filipino worker (OFW) Glenda Viloria Padilla is calling on the Philippine government for help as she wants to return to her hometown as soon as possible. 

Padilla was able to capture through video recording the impact of the said explosion. 

“Sobrang lakas po halos lahat ng buong Beirut po yata nawasak (The explosion was so massive it practically tore down the entire Beirut),” Padilla said who is a native of La Union.

“Sa pangyayari po gusto na po naming umuwi kasi hindi na safe kasi mahirap na po (after what happened, we really want to leave and return home because it’s not safe here anymore),” she added.

She also shared some images of the damage the blast caused to her employer’s home.

Reports said two Filipinos died from the incident and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is closely coordinating with the Philippine Embassy in Beirut for updates.

The Embassy earlier issued an advisory calling affected Filipinos in the area to reach out to Embassy officials for assistance. MNP (with inputs from Toto Fabros)

#PAKIUSAPTumawag lamang sa mga sumusunod na numero

Posted by Philippine Embassy in Lebanon on Tuesday, 4 August 2020
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OFW groups satisfied with President’s SONA

Maris Federez   •   July 28, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Several groups of overseas Filipino workers (OFW) have expressed their gratitude to President Rodrigo Duterte on his State of the Nation Address (SONA).

Around 300 Filipinos representing several groups of OFWs from different countries met online and simultaneously watched the President’s SONA.

They said the chief executive did not let them down as he urged Congress “to pass a law establishing the Department of Overseas Filipino solely on addressing the concerns of Filipinos abroad and their families.”

Last March, the lower House passed the creation of the Department of Filipino Overseas and Foreign Deployment. The Senate, on the other hand, is still hearing the bill.

In his SONA, the President reiterated his commitment of support to OFWs.

He called on the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and other agencies to allocate trainings and programs for OFWs.

With this, the United Filipino Global International thanked the president for his concern over them.

“The SONA speech of the president, I think we are very happy kasi alam naman po namin ang kaniyang intention. Ang kaniyang speech ay para talaga tumulong nang totoo na walang halong pamumulitiko,” said Gemma Sotto, chairperson of United Filipino Global International. — (from the report of Asher Cadapan, Jr.) /mbmf

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