OFW: There’s No Place Like Home, Thanks Villar Foundation!Tuesday, May 08, 2012
Howdy readers! Well, what’s with the title?! I just can’t say the right words to express how lucky I am that I do have a good workplace here in our homeland. Seriously, our OFWs are such survivors working and living outside the country away from home, away from the place where we grew up and lived with friends and family. These modern heroes are models to us all, seeing their determination to bring home the bacon... A home that is not only limited to their families and friends, but also with our country and all its citizens.
We all know how difficult it is being away from the people you love, a place where we're fond of. So I believe that they trying to create a temporary home away from home. However there are unfortunate events that sometimes takes place. As much as we hate to discuss it, we have to face the facts that this events do happen. Cases of abuse and worse killings do happen to our OFWs just when they’re on their weakest, when their away from us, their family.
|Romilyn Daguplo, Jacquelyn Costuna and Joanalin Pascua|
Romilyn Daguplo, Joanalin Pascua and Jacquelyn Costuna, to name a few are examples of individuals who experienced a not-so-lucky journey abroad, specifically in United Arab Emirates (UAE). They are just hoping and dreaming that working in a foreign land could be the road to have and provide a good life to their families.
Romilyn Daguplo, a 31-year old Bukidnon Native. She worked as a domestic helper in Dubai, UAE. She left the country on the month of March last year however, unnoticed by authorities, she is already pregnant by then. As we all know that the punishments for pregnant unmarried women are harsh in Arab Country, she got terrified and ran away from her employer. By doing so, her mother who works as a housemaid here in our country seeks the help of Sagip-OFW. Romilyn added, "Masaya po ako at nakauwi na po ako. At nagpapasalamat po ako kay Ma'am Cynthia sa pagtulong sa amin."
On a different note there’s Joanalin Pascua who suffered in the hands of her employer in Dubai. She was underpaid, overworked and worst, sexually harassed. She sought refuge and stays at the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO-OWWA) in Dubai for 3 weeks, until her repatriation. She also asked if she will be working again abroad and she said, "Hindi na po, dito nalang po ako maghahanap ng trabaho at alam ko naman po na hindi kami papabayaan ni Ma'am Cynthia."
And last but not the least, Jacquelyn Costuna, a 24-year-old resident of Manila, left the country for Dubai in October last year. She ran away from her employer because she suffered from maltreatment and verbal abuse. She also stayed with POLO-OWWA Dubai until her repatriation. At the young age she has been maltreated and as she narrated her story, "Nagpapasalamat po talaga ako kay Ma'am kasi po mahirap po talaga sa Dubai, pag nagkamali po ako, sinasaktan po nila ako."
Meanwhile, there’s always a rainbow after the storm. Yes it is! The three ladies can attest to that. After all the agony and suffering they undergone, here comes the Villar Foundation who unquestionably helps those in needs.
The Villar Foundation led by its Managing Director, former Las Piñas Representative Cynthia Villar (Manny Villar’s pretty wife), has been repatriating distressed OFWs and helping them and their relatives as part of its key advocacies. The Villar foundation that started from the year 1992 has been repatriates OFWs for a minimum of 50 individuals a year; take note the number is just the minimum. And according to her, “We are happy that we are in a position where we can help our countrymen, especially pour OFWs who unfortunately encounter different types of problems abroad. We cannot rescue them all, so it is good that both the private sector and the government are extending similar help to OFWs.”
Furthermore, Mrs. Cynthia Villar personally welcomed the three ladies above who just arrived earlier in NAIA at 10:55am. And to give an extra joy and put a smile on everyone’s face, their families were also present to give them the big hug of security and love. Ohh.. That’s the most touching part of the presscon held earlier, seeing them teary-eyed when they see their loved ones.
Well, there’s a lot to watch out for the VillarFoundation as they will be having an inauguration of Sendong Memorial for the typhoon Sendong victims in Cagayan de Oro. Maybe you may ask how much the cost for each individual repatriated. Well, a booming P70,000++ each which includes air fare and exit fees.
Well, at the end of the day, it is always good to know that there’s someone who’s willing to help to somebody who they do not even know at all. There are generous people who find ways to brighten your day and put sunshine on your gloomy day. There are kind-hearted folks who live to be someone else’s knight in shining armor.
And before I ended my post, you may visit www.villarfoundation.orgfor more details about OFW-related information and other advocacy. Let’s all have a helping hand for a better tomorrow!