Two overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) were killed in a blaze that struck their construction site in Saudi Arabia early Sunday, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said in a statement released Monday.
The victims were identified as Jessie Alata Pacetes and Reynaldo Barroga Castro, both heavy equipment drivers and operators employed by a major Saudi construction company that was working on a road project in Najran.
Consul General Edgar Badajos said the two victims died in their sleeping quarters at their jobsite located some 60 kilometers from Najran.
The Department of Foreign Affairs expressed its sympathies to the families of the victims.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the loved ones of our two kababayan who lost their lives in the tragedy,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter S. Cayetano said after he was informed of the incident.
He added that the Philippine Consulate General in Jeddah has sent a team in Najran to work out arrangements with the employer for the immediate repatriation of the remains of the victims and secure whatever benefits that are due them.
Although the fire was believed to have been caused by faulty electrical wiring, the Philippine Consulate is seeking confirmation from local authorities on the real cause of the fire. — UNTV News & Rescue
Patay ang mag-lola sa sunog sa Barangay Addition Hills sa Mandaluyong City madaling araw ng Huwebes, ika-18 ng Pebrero.
Nabulabog ang mga residente ng Block 39, Barangay Addition Hills nang sumiklab ang apoy sa isang bahay pasado alas-12 ng madaling araw.
Batay sa ulat ng Bureau of Fire Protection, dalawang bahay ang naapektuhan ng sunog na umabot sa first alarm. Agad ring naapula ang sunog matapos ang isang oras.
Ngunit kinumpirma ng BFP na dalawang indibiduwal ang nasawi matapos maipit sa loob ng nasunog na bahay. Kinilala ang mga biktima na sina Pacita Lamac, 55-taong gulang, at apo nitong si Althea Monique Salumbides, 13-taong gulang.
Ayon kay Barangay Captain Carlito Cernal, nasa third floor ang mag-lola nang sumiklab ang apoy sa katabing bahay nito na unang nasunog. Gawa sa light materials ang bahay ng pamilya Lamac kaya mabilis na kumalat ang apoy.
“Sadly, hindi nakalabas kasi ang sabi doon sa mga nakakakilala sa pamilya na ang ibang hagdanan masikip din, at iyon nga mabilis ang apoy kasi nga puro light materials ang kanilang tinitirhan,” aniya.
Wala nang iba pang napaulat na nasugatan sa insidente. Inaalam pa ng BFP ang sanhi ng sunog bagaman nakita umano ng ilang residente na may usok mula sa likuran ng isa sa mga apektadong bahay.
Kasalukuyan nang tinutulungan ng lokal na pamahalaan ang nasa 10 pamilyang naapektuhan ng sunog. (Ulat ni Asher Cadapan Jr.)
President Rodrigo Duterte urged Congress to expedite the creation of a new agency that will cater to the welfare of the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
“So I proposed in the coming months, and I hope to come up with a Department of Overseas Workers,” he said.
Duterte said the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has so much burden to focus on OFWs.
The President also said the new agency will address the persistent woes encountered by OFWs. There is also a proposal to create another agency for seafarers.
“So iyan ang ano ko sa mga kababayan ko na naghihirap sa labas, (So that is what I can provide for our fellowmen abroad) that there will be a more thorough review in policies for your protection and that somebody should look after you,” he said.
Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go in 2019 filed Senate Bill 202, or the Department of Overseas Filipinos Act of 2019 in support of President Duterte’s advocacy. AAC
The 12th batch of distressed Overseas Filipinos (OFs) from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) arrived in the Philippines on Thursday (October 15), according to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).
A total of 341 distressed OFs arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). The repatriates already underwent COVID-19 RT-PCR testing and will be staying under hotel quarantine until their test results come out negative.
The DFA began its mass repatriation efforts in February to assist OFs affected by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
The DFA has already repatriated more than 4,200 Filipinos from Riyadh and the eastern regions of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. AAC
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