Why GOSI is important for OFWs in Saudi
Ronaldo Jaime and Bryan Atienza. File Photo
SAUDI ARABIA – Two overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who met work-related accidents on different occasions are getting medical treatment for free, thanks to the General Organization for Social Insurance (GOSI) in Riyadh.
"Kng putulin man sya, ano pa yong pwede kong gawin yong para sa buhay ko o paano ako makakatulong para sa pamilya ko? Pero talagang napakasakit na mawalan ka lang ng isang daliri. Isang daliri sa paa ang sakit sakit na, yong mawalan ka pa ng buong paa?" said Ronald Jaime.
Jaime was injured when the bucket of a payloader driven by a foreign co-worker accidentally fell on his right foot. Instead of amputating the whole foot, doctors just removed his big toe.
His hospitalization cost about a half a million Riyals which thankfully was shouldered by GOSI.
Like him, Brian Tolentino also suffered work-related injury when a big portion of the ground gave in and fell on his foot and waist while fixing pipes on a canal.
"Eto ako ngayon, di makatayo, di makalakad, ang hirap tumagilid," said Tolentino who worked as a pipe fitter.
His first operation already cost an equivalent of P5 million which was also paid by GOSI.
Tolentino said he gets stronger whenever a friend or town mate from Batangas visits him in the hospital. Advocacy group Patnubay posted his picture on Facebook after the accident.
Patnubay also advised all OFWs in the Kingdom to ensure that their companies are active GOSI contributors.
Since they are GOSI-insured, the 2 first-timer OFWs in Saudi Arabia still receive their monthly salary from their companies.
"Kung ikaw nagi-ingat ka, pero yung kasama mo hindi nagi-ingat, bale-wala rin. Dapat pare-pareho kayong nagi-ingat, lahat kayo," said Jaime.
As for Tolentino, "Naniniwala [ako] na makakalakad uli ako, makakapagtrabaho ulit, kaso hindi na po dito, ayoko na dito."
Tolentino prays for his immediate recovery so he could soon be reunited with his family in the Philippines.
Jaime has been discharged from the hospital. He will continue his therapy at his company's accommodation. Report from Roland Blanco, ABS-CBN Middle East News Bureau