Press Release
March 31, 2016

Villar grants livelihood assistance to five repatriated OFWs from Nueva Ecija

Sen. Cynthia Villar awarded livelihood and financial assistance to five overseas Filipino workers who were repatriated after experiencing misfortunes abroad.

Nova Corbe, Juvy Dizon, and Joyce Wy were repatriated after experiencing abuse and maltreatment from their employers in the Middle East. Elaiza Nicolas and Maricel Miguel who hails from San Jose City, Nueva Ecija, were victims of human trafficking in Malaysia.

Witnessed by their family members, the repatriated OFWs received financial assistance and a start-up sari-sari store package from Villar during simple ceremonies held at the Senate.

"We can only hope that this livelihood assistance would be instrumental in taking their minds off the misfortune they went through and in the process, earn a little and provide for their family's needs," Villar said.

Villar said a sari-sari store is the easiest business to start, which the repatriated OFWs can do at their home without the need for rigorous training.

The five OFWs were the latest beneficiaries of Senator Villar's assistance program for distressed OFWs in partnership with Villar SIPAG (Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation and Governance) and All Day Convenience Store.

Villar also sponsored skills-up trainings for repatriated OFWs in partnership with the Department of Labor and Employment, National Reintegration Center for OFWs and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration. Recently, she started holding anti-scam symposiums with the Blas Ople Training Center to help stop the rising number of OFWs victimized by scams. One of the assistance recipients was Corbe, 31, of San Jose City. She left for Qatif, KSA, on May 14, 2015. She has three children aged 13, 11 and 5. She was hospitalized due to over-fatigue. Reportedly, she was sold to another employer. She was repatriated on February 19, 2016.

Another repatriated OFW, Dizon, 30, left San Jose City for Kuwait on March 8, 2015. On April 27, 2015, she had an accident while cleaning the bath tub. Due to injury acquired, she can no longer properly work and was returned to her recruitment agency. Her agency denied her request for medical consultation and instead was deployed to another employer. Her new employer also returned her to the agency after refusing to pay for her MRI. The agency is demanding payment of 1000 KD before she could be allowed to return to the Philippines. On August 17, 2015, Dizon fled and went to the Philippine Embassy. She was repatriated on December 30, 2015. Dizon has three children, aged 10, 6, and 5.

Wy, 32, who hails from San Vicente Cabiao, Nueva Ecija, also received assistance from Villar. She flew to Al Khobar, KSA, on June 18, 2015. She experienced maltreatment from her employer and harassment from the employer's kin. On August 25, 2015, she left her employer and went to POLO Bahay Kalinga. She was also jailed at Al Khobar Jail Facility for theft and was charged 11,000 SAR before her return to the Philippines. She has three kids, aged 15, 11, and 6. She was repatriated on February 8, 2016.

Two women repatriated from Malaysia also received the financial and livelihood assistance. Nicolas, 20, and Miguel, 21, were offered a job in Pampanga as entertainers but on May 29, 2015, they were brought to Zamboanga City and boarded a ship to Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia. For two months they worked as entertainers in a club until it was raided by the Malaysian Police. They were brought to the Women's Shelter in Kota Kinabalu and placed under Witness Protection Order while authorities are hunting the human traffickers. They returned to the Philippines on February 29, 2016.

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