Press Release
April 22, 2008

Villar brings home five more maltreated OFWs from UAE

Five more distressed female overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Abu Dhabi who have been awaiting repatriation will finally be able to come home on April 24.

This brings to 15 the number of OFWs Nacionalista Party president Manny Villar helped send home this month by sponsoring their airfares back to the country.

"We are looking forward to the arrival of our OFWs who have been longing to come home after suffering trauma and sickness abroad," Senate President Manny Villar said.

The five OFWs who are set to arrive on Thursday are Lea Malunes, 27, from Camarines Sur; Salama Bakal, 28, from Cotabato City; Bernadette Romero, 38, from Cavite; Luciana Lunar, 44, from Batangas; and Fennie Tiletile, 48, from Tagum City.

They all ran away from their employers due to overwork, maltreatment, and insufficient food. At least three of them, particularly Bakal, Romero and Lunar, have been ill and need medical attention.

They are expected to arrive at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal I via Etihad Airways on Thursday.

In a tearful moment, Villar also welcomed at least eight arriving maltreated, underaged OFWs at the airport last April 21 whose airfares were likewise sponsored by the Senate president.

Villar is also set to file a resolution to urge the Senate to probe the increasingly rampant illegal recruitment hazard victimizing even minors.

The repatriated OFWs are encouraged to attend the Sipag at Tiyaga Caravan Kaalaman, an advocacy program of Villar aimed at providing livelihood seminars for citizens who are interested in acquiring entrepreneurial skills like sardine and soap making.

As a budding entrepreneur 30 years ago, Villar developed his deep concern for OFWs with whom he frequently interacted, prompting him to start on his own an assistance mechanism for distressed workers which he aggressively pursued.

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