TFC News

286 distressed OFWs from Kuwait fly home

Maxxy Santiago | ABS-CBN Middle East News Bureau

Posted at Aug 04 2022 01:15 AM | Updated as of Aug 04 2022 02:37 AM

KUWAIT CITY - Some 286 distressed Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) were repatriated to the Philippines by the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait on August 2, 2022 on board a chartered Philippine Airlines flight PR8764. 

The free repatriation flight was funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs. (DFA-OUMWA) led by Acting Undersecretary Eduardo de Vega who was on the flight and accompanied the repatriates back home. 
Pinoy repats

Newly posted Philippine Charge d’ Affaires to Kuwait Jose Cabrera was at the Kuwait International Airport Terminal 1 to see off the repatriates. 

Joining Cabrera were Vice Consul Josel Mostajo, Vice Consul Aaron Erick Lozada and other embassy staff as well as POLO-OWWA staff to assist the repatriates at the check-in counter.

The group is composed of 10 medical cases while the rest came from the Talha or Kuwait Deportation Center and POLO-OWWA shelter.

Most of the repatriates worked as Household Service Workers (HSWs) who left their employers after experiencing various forms of maltreatment such as physical, verbal or sexual abuse, non-payment of salaries, lack of food and fatigue. 

Nanay repat

“The main purpose ng ating chartered flights is to bring home distressed Filipinos. Now we only use charters, if we need to charter a plane ibig sabihin malaki na talaga ang volume,” stated Cabrera.

This is the first mass repatriation under the new government led by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. who in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) expressed his commitment to ensuring the welfare of the OFWs and helping distressed OFWs by bringing them home to their families. 

Pinays going home

The Philippine Embassy in cooperation with the Kuwait Ministry of Interior helped in the processing of the exit clearance of the repatriates.

Among the repatriates was 78-year-old Anesia Tubog Bazan from Zamboanga City who worked for 35 years as a Household Service Worker (HSW) under one Kuwaiti employer.

She wanted to continue working, however, she had to go home after getting hit in a vehicular accident on May 28, 2022 that left her unfit for work.

Mag amo
Anesia Tubog Bazam (right) from Zamboanga City with her Kuwaiti employer Badria Marzouq (left)

“I said to her, thank you very much you care for me," expressed Bazan to her employer. Bazan’s employer for 35 years, Badria Marzouq cannot contain her tears as she and her son sent Bazan off.

“I say I will miss her because she is like my sister, 35 with me, a long time with me. But what we can do she has to go,” stated Marzouq. 

Pastry chef
Ramon Peciller, a pastry chef and cancer patient also joined in the repatriation. He spent 29 years in Kuwait.

Ramon Peciller, a pastry chef in Kuwait for 29 years, battling cancer also joined in the repatriation. The Philippine Embassy along with some Filipino organizations in Kuwait helped him to be on this flight.

“Excited na ako umuwi, finally mag re-retire na. Maraming salamat sa lahat po ng mga tumulong sa akin,” stated Peciller.

Cabrera pointed out that the Philippine Embassy will continue to mount chartered flights as needed to fly home distressed OFWs. All undocumented and distressed OFWs may seek the help of the embassy should they want to go back home.

“So be strong and at the same time be faithful to your aspirations, be faithful to your family, to your loved ones and of course to the Lord and lastly, maging tapat tayo sa ating ano, tungkulin bilang mga Pilipino. So, let us be law-abiding, let us respect other cultures and observe the aspirations of our government,” stated Cabrera who arrived in Kuwait two weeks ago to head the Kuwait post.