Several benefits for OFWs from Department of Migrant Workers - GulfToday

Several benefits for OFWs from Department of Migrant Workers


Filipinos gather for an event in Dubai. File

Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter

Documented overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) including those who have yet to register as certified OFWs can go to any of the 41 Migrant Workers Offices (MWOs) of the Philippines’ Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) worldwide nearest them, should they need any form of assistance. 

“Visit the MWO (Migrant Workers Office, formerly the Philippine Overseas Labour Office), for the proper intake of Request for Assistance,” Labour Attache in Dubai and the Northern Emirates John Rio Bautista said on Saturday.

“Tourist and visit visa holders are advised to seek assistance from the Philippine Consulate General or the Philippine Embassy," he clarified.

Bautista’s clarification was a reiteration of what Philippine Consulate General in Dubai (PCGDXB)-Assistance to National Section in-charge Vice Consul Aleah Gica had stated during the March 23 (Saturday) First Town Hall Meeting, relative to the introduction of Consul General Designate in Dubai and the Northern Emirates Marford Angeles, before the Filipino Community.

Gica said: “On July 1, 2023, The Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs Assistance to Nationals (ATN) functions for (OFWs) were transferred to the (DMW) in compliance with Republic Act 11641. Our ATN functions for OFWs and migrant workers have been transferred to MWO. Foreign service posts with resident MWOs just like Dubai will continue assisting distressed overseas Filipinos who are not OFWs. Everyone else who is not an OFW will still be handled by the ATN Section of the consulate. These include legitimate tourists, dual citizens, permanent residents, and scholars and exchange students on their own not under the sponsorship of their resident parents.”

From the Town Hall Meeting and asked by a cancer patient on treatment regarding medical assistance, Bautista cited “distressed” instances whereby DMW-ATN Section had approved financial assistance to at least one dialysis case. He too mentioned of the case of a Filipina in need of a pacemaker and complete physiotherapy session amounting to approximately Php1 million (Dhs64,915).

“The request is submitted to us. We document and forward to Manila for the decision. We issue the check to the health provider,” he said.

Bautista was also asked about the procedure for assistance since PCGDXB recently released its second news update on the developments in connection to the April 4 inferno that engulfed the 33-storey three-building 750-apartment Loloat Al Khaleej residential compound in Al Nahda, Sharjah.

From the April 5 Gulf Today report that quoted Sharjah Police commander-in-chief Major General Saif Al Zari Al Shamsi, the Sharjah Civil Defence Operations Room received an alert regarding the fire at 10:51 p.m. on April 4.

Probe had proved that the blaze, put under control dawn of April 5, originated from a garbage left on the first floor hallway of Building B.

On April 6, PCGDXB dispatched an ATN Section staff to attend to the needs of the victims upon receipt of information from the Sharjah Police that among the five dead was a Filipina, whose husband was admitted at the intensive care unit of an undisclosed hospital. 

Police investigations revealed that while 17 had suffocated and 27 had sustained minor injuries, 156 others including 18 children had been temporarily sheltered at the nearby Al Rayyan Tower.

On Saturday, Labour Attache Bautista said 15 Filipinos including two children were among the victims.

He said: “Five of the OFWs already received Dhs1,000 (Php 15,404.84) each from the MWO. Four more to be given next week.”

“We still need to observe the UAE procedure in SOR (Shipment of Human Remains), given death is not due to natural cause,” Bautista replied, when asked regarding the timeline for the repatriation of the remains of the Filipina. 

From the recent PCGDXB news update: “The husband of the deceased had been discharged from the hospital and is presently residing with a relative. The Consulate and MWO-Dubai will assist him in completing the necessary documentation for the repatriation of his wife’s remains.”

“Two other affected Filipinos are temporarily residing with their relatives. The rest had returned to their respective apartments.”

The consular mission which vowed to provide support to “distressed overseas Filipinos, particularly during challenging times,” did not disclose the identities and other pertinent details of the fire victims as they had requested.

The Metro Manila-based Philippine Daily Inquirer had reported on Saturday that DMW Secretary Hans Cacdac had spoken with the next-of-kin of the dead and her husband.

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