AROUND 260 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) were given over P5,000 each in livelihood assistance by Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano before they were to return to their home provinces.
Cayetano met the repatriated OFWs at the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Thursday to personally welcome them.
The OFWs, who are among the first batch to arrive in the Philippines from Kuwait, were eager to fly home after being granted amnesty in Kuwait.
Most of them claimed to have experienced physical and emotional maltreatment while some claimed that their employers failed to pay them the agreed salary.
Many of those who alleged to have experienced different types of abuses from their employers resorted to running away.
Because their employers are responsible for renewing their work licenses and visas, they eventually slipped into undocumented status.
“Daghan kaayong salamat sa mga taga-Embassy nga nakauli gyud mi diri sa Manila karon, nga maayo among pagbiyahe, tapos, sa among mga kauban nga 260 mi kabuok, nga nakauli gyud mi nga maayo ra ang among pag-uli.
“Daghan sad nga salamat sa tabang ng pinansyal nga among nadawat.
“Daghang salamat gyud! (translation: Thank you so much to the people at the Embassy for helping us have a safe trip back to Manila.
(My companions -- 260 of us -- were able to come home safely. We are also extremely thankful for the financial assistance that we received. Thank you so much!)” said Jenny Luwina, one of the OFWs who had the chance to meet Cayetano.
The majority of the OFWs who met with the Secretary hail from provinces in the Visayas and Mindanao and worked as household service workers in Kuwait.
Many of them expressed their desire to seek employment in other countries outside of the Middle East.
The Department of Foreign Affairs’ Office of Migrant Workers Affairs (DFA-OMWA) and the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait have been working hand in hand to ensure that all distressed OFWs in Kuwait are safely flown back to the Philippines.
Both DFA-OMWA and the Embassy have been working closely with the Kuwaiti government to ensure better and safer working conditions for all migrant workers in the Gulf state.