Press Release
December 11, 2008

Villar fulfills Christmas wishes of stranded OFWs at OWWA Center

Nacionalista Party President Manny Villar today fulfilled the wishes of stranded overseas Filipino workers to be with their loved ones in time for the holidays.

Villar emptied the OFW dormitory at the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Center when he provided the 21 OFWs seeking refuge there ferry and plane tickets and allowance for their travel to their respective provinces.

The OFWs will not go home empty-handed as the senator also gave each of them goodies to bring to their missed loved ones as "pasalubong."

"Kami po ay napakaswerteng makasama at maasikaso ni Manny Villar ngayong nalalapit ang Pasko. Labis po kaming nagpapasalamat sa agarang pagtugon niya sa aming pangangailangan," said an OFW on behalf of the workers sponsored by the senator.

Villar was welcomed at the OWWA by Administrator Carmelita Dimzon and her staff who joined the OFWs in singing a birthday song for the legislator.

Villar ate with the OFWs and OWWA staff who gifted him with a birthday cake with an airplane design symbolizing their appreciation for Villar's efforts to improve the condition of OFWs.

"There is no reason why our migrant workers should be stranded further in our own country, after waiting to get home from abroad with unfortunate experiences. They have been longing to be with their families," said Villar.

The migrant workers came from the United Arab Emirates, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Israel. Most of them will be traveling to Mindanao, including a mentally ill OFW who will be accompanied by a nurse to Zamboanga and a mother with her 3-month-old son from Davao.

Nine OFWs who lived under the Candara Bridge in Jeddah were also among those who received plane tickets and transportation allowance from Villar.

Recently, Villar also threw a welcome party for 30 maltreated OFWs whose repatriation from Abu Dhabi he also sponsored. He also gave them pre-Christmas gift packages.

Villar has been undertaking repatriation efforts for distressed OFWs in Jordan, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain and other Middle East countries. He is sponsoring their plane fares from abroad to Manila, and transportation costs to their provincial homes. The senator's efforts are part of his "Sagip-OFW" program and OFW Helpline 09174226800.

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