Press Release
May 8, 2009

Assisted by Villar's office:

Reeling from the presence of a piece of metal which penetrated his head following a work accident in Saudi Arabia, an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) came home today (May 8, 3:20 p.m.) via Saudia Arilines flight SV 876.

Quirino Sison, 50, a heavy equipment mechanic, who reported his predicament in Al Gassim to Nacionalista Party president Manny Villar, was immediately brought to the Manila Adventist Medical Center in Manila by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration and the office of Villar, who shouldered his hospital bill.

His x-ray showed the presence of a foreign object in his head.

Sison was accidentally hit in the head by a metal recently coming from a colleague's working area nearby in Al Gassim, which caused him to bleed profusely.

However, the only medical attention he got in the Middle East country was an x-ray which confirmed the presence of the lodged metal.

Thus, he called up the helpline set up by Villar for distressed OFWs to report his predicament and failure to get the necessary medical treatment.

In his distress call, Sison reported, ""Sa pagtatrabaho ng aking kasamahan ay natalsikan ako ng basag na bearing at duguan akong dinala sa ospital kung saan ako ay na-x-ray lamang at natagpuan ang piraso ng metal sa ulo ko. Sumasakit po ang ulo ko lalo na pag nakatingala ako na parang may tumutusok, at namamaga, dahilan upang hindi ako makatulog sa gabi,"

The office of Villar promptly called up OWWA to facilitate the repatriation of the injured OFW.

Villar strongly questioned the lack of protection for workers on the job site and medical attention following the work-related incident.

Harsh conditions faced by OFWs earlier pushed the senator to actively press for the application of the "no-fault insurance system" for OFWs, a form of indemnity plan in which anyone injured in an accident or misfortune receives direct payment from the company that has insured them, eliminating the need for victims to establish another's liability or fault through a civil case.

Villar has filed Senate Bill 3040 or the "Overseas Contract Workers Insurance Act" which seeks compulsory insurance for all OFWs in addition to benefits being provided by OWWA.

The Philippine Embassy made representations with Sison's employer who reportedly cancelled out the OFW's debts in exchange for his plane ticket which has been provided for by donors upon learning of the OFW's story through Villar's statement.

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