OFW railway engineer returns to PH to help build subway, LRT-2

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 5, 2019   •   1971

Engineer Deo Miranda

An Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) railway engineer in Denmark has returned home to the Philippines in order to help build the LRT-2 subway.

Deo Miranda attended the flag ceremony of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Tuesday (November 5).

As a railway engineer in Denmark, Deo has the skills and knowledge to know about the said transportation.

When he stumbled upon a viral post of a cutter head prototype for the Metro Manila Subway Project, he knew what he had to do.

On Monday (November 4), Deo started his work as Engineer IV for the LRT-2 East and LRT-2 West Project Teams. He left his stable job overseas in order to contribute to the development of his country.

“We are here to support our current administration who has the vision and commitment to achieve the comfortable mass transport for Filipinos,” Deo said after receiving the call that confirmed his employment with government.

DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade lauded Deo’s choice of giving back to country.

“Para sa akin, bayani ang mga OFWs. Bayani sila dahil sila ay nagsasakripisyo at nakikipagsapalaran sa ibang bansa para maiahon ang kani-kanilang pamilya sa hirap. Ngunit talaga ring nakakaantig ng puso kung ang isang OFW, kahit sobrang laki ng kinikita sa ibang bansa, magdedesisyong bumalik at tumulong sa bayan at magsabing: Pilipinas naman (For me, OFWs are heroes. They are heroes because they sacrifice and work overseas in order to help their family. But it is really heartwarming that an OFW, despite the hefty salary overseas, decided to return to help the country: It’s the Philippines’ turn),” he said.

Deo and other OFWs already met with the DOTr and other transport officials at the ASEAN Convention Center in Clark, Pampanga in July 2019 to discuss about the country’s transit system.—AAC

Filipino repatriates from Sri Lanka, India return to their provinces

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 18, 2020

Filipino repatriates from Sri Lanka and India returned to their respective provinces on Wednesday (June 17).

The Philippine Navy facilitated the return of the Filipino repatriates who were stranded overseas due to travel restrictions spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic. They were accommodated by BRP Davao Del Sur (LD602) during the Naval Task Forces humanitarian mission in the Middle East.

“These repatriates considered as returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs) already finished the required quarantine period aboard ship and were tested negative for coronavirus in the swab testing conducted upon their arrival,” the Navy said. AAC

Bahrain king pardons 16 jailed OFWs; 11 deported to PH

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 12, 2020

His Majesty King Hamad Bin lsa Al Khalifa has granted royal pardon to 16 overseas Filipino workers jailed in Bahrain.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said 11 of them have already been deported to the Philippines while the deportation of four others is still being arranged.

“The remaining OFW has been pardoned for the crime of drug peddling, but still faces a 7-year jail term for human trafficking,” DOLE said.

President Rodrigo Duterte expressed his gratitude and hailed the royal pardon as an act of the king’s benevolence made in celebration of this year’s Eid Al-Fitr.

“This act of humanity by His Majesty King Hamad Bin lsa Al Khalifa provides renewed hope and an opportunity for our countrymen and women to build new lives,” he stated in his letter of gratitude to the king. AAC

DILG warns of charges vs LGUs that reject entry of returning OFWs

Marje Pelayo   •   May 27, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Interior Secretary Eduardo Año has warned local government units (LGU) of facing charges for rejecting overseas Filipinos returning to their localities after serving their quarantine period for coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Año stressed that non-acceptance of OFWs who wish to return to their hometowns would mean violation of the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act and would incur serious consequences.

“Hindi pwede na sasabihin ninyo na: ‘Zero COVID kami kaya hindi kami tatanggap ng OFW.’ Hindi pwede iyan, (You can’t say: “We’re zero COVID so we will not accept OFWs.” That’s not acceptable),” Año said.

“I myself will make sure na hahabulin ko kayo (to go after you),” he warned.

Secretary Año emphasized the importance of proper coordination between the LGU and the national government in ferrying OFWs to their respective hometowns.

With proper communication, the LGU will be able to plan ahead for the arrivals of the OFWs and provide them the much-needed assistance.

“Ang gusto ko may tatlong araw na aabisuhan ang ating mga LGUs bago ang biyahe kasi maghahanda pa iyan ng sasakyan na magsusundo pati ang kanilang isolation facilities ay ihahanda nila at syempre dapat alam nila ang pangalan ng mga uuwi,” Año explained.

(What I want is to inform LGUs three days ahead of the scheduled trip because they need to prepare transportation and they need to set up their isolation facilities. Also, they need to know the names of those arriving.)

Criticisms have been mounting with regard to the government’s handling of OFWs in quarantine facilities as they have been delayed for so long in addition to the hassle of getting their COVID-19 clearance to finally go home. 

One complaint came from Ormoc City Mayor Richard Gomez who vented his ire on Facebook after a number of OFWs were sent to his locality without proper coordination. MNP (with details from Joan Nano)

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