MANILA - The Philippine government has extended P600,000 in financial aid to the family of the overseas Filipino worker (OFW) whose body was found in a freezer in Kuwait.
During a Senate inquiry into the plight of OFWs on Wednesday, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the government has increased the death benefit for the family of Joanna Demafelis.
Bello said the government has given P300,000 as death benefit, P200,000 as livelihood assistance, and an additional P100,000 as educational assistance to the slain Filipina's family.
"There are other agencies out of humanitarian sympathy, they offer to give financial assistance to the family," Bello said.
Demafelis, who left the Philippines in 2014 to work in Kuwait, has been missing since September 2016 and was found in a freezer in an abandoned apartment in the Gulf state earlier this month. Initial investigation showed signs of abuse.
Her case has sparked national outrage, prompting the government to implement a deployment ban on Filipino workers to the Gulf state and a repatriation program for those who wish to come home.
The labor chief said the government was informed that the slain Filipina had funded the construction of a house for her family but that this was left unfinished due to her death.
The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), according to Bello, is mulling on providing financial support for the construction of the Demafelis family home to fulfill the late Filipina's dream.
"OWWA is also thinking of completing the house para matapos 'yung panaginip ni OFW Joanna. 'Yung bahay na inumpisahan niya, kung di man natapos dahil sa kaniyang kamatayan, will be completed even after her death," Bello said.
(The OWWA is also thinking of completing the construction of Joanna's house so that her dream of having a house will be fulfilled even after her death.)