Binay acted on 1,325 requests for help from OFWs
MANILA, Philippines – Over a thousand overseas Filipino workers have been given assistance by the Office of the Vice President in 2012.
Vice President Jejomar Binay said his office received a total of 1,325 requests for assistance--ranging from repatriation, salary and benefits claims, legal assistance for detained OFWs and grievances against recruiters and agents—last year.
“We are continuing to intensify the drive to protect the welfare of our fellow Filipinos abroad, and we look forward to another year of meaningful changes this 2013," Binay added.
Among those that Binay's office was able to help were a 3-year-old boy entrusted to the care of his mother’s friends in Kuwait when the latter was deported to the Philippines after her working visa expired; Alfredo Salmos, survivor of an accidental electrocution in Saudi Arabia in 2010; and Milagros Villarin, who died of natural causes in her home in Belgium.
Binay is also helping raise P44 million in blood money needed for the pardon of Joselito Zapanta, the OFW sentenced to death for killing his Sudanese landlord in Saudi Arabia.
The death sentence was supposed to be carried out against Zapanta last November but was stayed for four more months after President Aquino and Vice President Binay appealed to the Saudi Arabian government.
The Philippine government has so far deposited in Saudi Arabia the equivalent of P4 million, the standard amount allotted for blood money cases that qualify for government assistance.
Binay also played an active role in urging the repatriation of Filipinos in war-torn Syria. He likewise interceded for the repatriation of 14 Filipino workers in Jeddah and 69 in Dubai, who were stranded in shelters managed by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).