Kin of OFW appeals for update on repatriation of dad's remains

Rose Carmelle Lacuata, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 05 2020 08:30 PM

MANILA - The daughter of an overseas Filipino worker who died of COVID-19 in Saudi Arabia is appealing to the government to update them about the repatriation of her father's remains.

Krizzia Joyce Roxas-Plumo said her father, Joselito Roxas, had been working as a foreman in King Faisal Airbase in Tabuk, Saudi Arabia since 1993.

Plumo said Filipino nurses told them about her father's condition last month.

"Nalaman po namin na nagkasakit siya noong June 4, 2020, nasa ICU na po siya noon at napilit lang ng mga Pinay nurses na magsabi po sa amin. Pero ang totoo po pala June 2 pa lang po naospital na po siya. Namatay po siya nitong June 25, 2020," Krizzia told ABS-CBN News through text message.

(We learned that he got sick last June 4, 2020, he was in the ICU and the Filipina nurses told us about it. But he was already in the hospital by June 2. He died last June 25, 2020.)

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She also said they tried to contact the Philippine consulate in Jeddah to ask about her father's remains.

"Nanghingi din po ako ng update sa kumpanya ng Daddy ko. Hindi din daw po nila ma-contact ang consulate," Krizzia said.

(I asked my father's company for updates but they also could not contact the consulate.)

Krizzia said they haven't received any information from the government, and they only get updates from news articles and from other families who are also waiting for the remains of their relatives.

"Wala po, kami kami lang po ang nagtutulungan...'Yung mga namatayan din po ang nagsabi sa akin ng kung saan po kami dapat pumunta. Wala pong nag-u-update sa amin. Kahit email o text man lang... sa balita lang po kami nag-aabang ng update," she explained.

(We only get information from families who are also waiting for the remains of their relatives. They tell us who to call. We don't receive anything, even an email or a text message. We only rely on the news.)

She appeals to the government to update them on the repatriation of her father's remains.

"Ang apela po namin sa gobyerno ay sana po tulungan po nila kami... Kahit po 'yung mga employers 'di rin po alam ang gagawin dahil po nagkukulang sila sa cooperation... Kahit po doon sa KSA (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) naguguluhan po sila kung iuuwi po ba talaga o hindi," Krizzia said.

The Department of Labor and Employment earlier said it was aiming to repatriate the remains of Filipinos who died in Saudi Arabia, including those who succumbed to COVID-19, by July 4.

However, on Friday, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III the repatriation will be delayed pending the release of documents required to bring them home.

-- With a report from Isay Reyes, ABS-CBN News