Press Release
July 26, 2008

Villar's Helpline brings home more OFWs

Senate President Manny Villar today announced the repatriation of three overseas Filipino workers through the assistance of OFW Helpline 09174226800.

"With barely three months into the Helpline's operation, we have succeeded to speed up the repatriation of OFWs in distress and provide them legal and financial assistance," Villar said.

Villar said arriving today is Catherine Domingo, an OFW from Syria . Domingo's family sought the help of the OFW Helpline to locate her whereabouts after eight months of not receiving any communication from her. With the assistance of the Department of Foreign Affairs, she returned to the country via Etihad Airways Flight No. 428 at 2:40 pm.

The Nacionalista Party president also said Elyn de Leon, a single mother who worked as a care-giver in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, was reunited with her family yesterday (July 25). De Leon complained of maltreatment and delayed salaries.

Last Thursday (July 24), Villar added, the remains of Reynaldo Rustique Sr., who had an heart attack while working in Damman , Saudi Arabia , were transported back for a decent burial in his homeland.

While extending condolences to the Rustique family, Villar said he will persevere to bring home more OFWs and reunite them with their loved ones.

Reynaldo Sr. is the father of P/Army Reynaldo Rustique Jr. The younger Rustique came to Villar's Senate office and sought help for the repatriation of his father who died on June 26. Reynaldo Jr. said the last time they saw their father was in 1994.

In a letter sent to DFA Sec. Alberto Romulo on July 21, Villar coordinated with the DFA for the immediate repatriation of Reynaldo Sr.'s body.

Reynaldo Sr. worked for Spring Water Corporation as driver and salesperson. He was a resident of Bacoor, Cavite . His remains were transported to the country last Thursday via Saudi Airlines Flight No. 864. He was 56.

The OFW Helpline started operation in May. Pleas for help from OFWs and their families average 60 a day. Through coordination with government and non-government agencies, the helpline was able to act on numerous cases involving but not limited to maltreatment, illegal recruitment and breach of contract.

The arrival this week of three OFWs brings to more than 40 the number of repatriated OFWs through the efforts of the Senate president.

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