DOLE: Rush release of oil rig workers’ benefits

Posted at 11/30/12 5:36 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Three of the nine overseas Filipino workers who have been affected by the oil platform explosion in Louisiana have been repatriated to the Philippines.

“I have been informed by DNR Offshore and Crewing Services, Inc., the deploying agency of the OFWs who had been working in the oil rig, that Messrs. Nick de Guzman, Paulino Obenieta, and Jovito Canencia have arrived in the Philippines,” said Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz.

Baldoz ordered the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) to hasten the release of the benefits of the three OFWs.

“Although they sustained only minor injuries and have been determined they can return to work, the agency requested their employer to send them home so they could recuperate. I instruct the OWWA, therefore, to release to them or their families the benefits due them," added Baldoz.

The agency informed Baldoz, through a letter, that it has arranged and provided the necessary greet-and-meet service and transportation upon the arrival of the three OFWs. The agency also said it will arrange for their medical examination and post-traumatic counseling.

Should the repatriated OFWs decide to stay and pursue wage employment or venture into entrepreneurial activities in the Philippines, the OWWA will provide them with the necessary assistance under the National Reintegration Program.

The explosion occurred in an oil rig operated by the Grand Isle Shipyard, Inc. in Louisiana. The incident claimed the lives of three Filipino workers.