10 returning OFWs from Algeria found non-OWWA members-A A +A
Monday, January 21, 2013
MANILA -- Ten returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who survived the bloody hostage crisis in a gas field complex in Algeria have been found to be not members of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).
According to OWWA Administrator Carmelita Dimzon, agency records show that only 29 out of the 39 who returned home last Sunday are active OWWA members.
"Still, we offered them all the immediate assistance upon their return such as stress debriefing and counselling," said Dimzon in an interview.
However, the OWWA official said the OFWs appear disinterested with the assistance. "They simply said they want to take a rest first," she said.
On Sunday night, 39 of the 52 accounted OFWs rescued from the seized gas complex were able to return to the country after they were evacuated from Algeria via Palma de Mallorca in Spain, Gatwick in London, and Dubai.
Over the weekend, Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said she has already instructed OWWA to facilitate the delivery of assistance to the OFWs upon their return.
Meanwhile, the OWWA chief said the government is ready to offer all available reintegration programs to the returning workers, including the government's P2-billion Reintegration Program.
"We are ready as always to assist our returning OFWs if they want to avail of our reintegration programs if ever they decide not to leave the country anymore," said Dimzon.
Under the program, OFWs are offered a loan amount from P300,000 to P2 million at 7.5 percent interest per annum, payable up to maximum of seven years depending on the cash- flow of the project, and with grace period of two years. (HDT/Sunnex)