THE Migrante-Middle East asked the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (Owwa) to prioritize the repatriation of those with children staying in the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh.

The call came on the heels of the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) order to fly home all distressed overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

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Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator John Leonard Monterona related that there are currently some 10 OFWs who have kids with them and have been staying in the embassy’s Bahay Kalinga for almost a year in need of repatriation.

“We are urging the concerned Philippine government agencies to attend the immediate repatriation of the stranded OFWs and their children without further delay,” Monterona said.

Last week, Owwa Administrator Carmelita Dimzon announced that repatriation of distressed OFWs in Filipino Workers Welfare Centers abroad will continue until all are flown home.

The program is in response to the desire of President Benigno Aquino III in protecting the welfare of OFWs abroad.

Migrante said the distressed OFWs with kids were identified as Maricel Lopez with her two-year-old son; Evelyn Gura and seven-year-old daughter; Christine Moquia and three-year-old son; Salma Tanjili and seven-year-old son; and Halima Naslo and one-year old daughter.

Also stranded in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are Noriama Adam and three-year-old son; Ramla Kusain and eight-month old daughter; Glenda Eucapor and five-month-old daughter; Monawara Ibrahim and three-year-old daughter; and Luz Cabrera and her two-year-old daughter.

Monterona said there is no reason why the Owwa should not put premium on their repatriation as they all arrived in the host country as legal OFW-domestic helpers.

“Others became victims of employer's sexual abuses and got pregnant, while others engaged in illicit relations with fellow OFW then got pregnant,” he added.

Under the agency’s Repatriation Program, Owwa members may avail of assistance to return to the Philippines in a situation of emergency or distress including provision of services to facilitate immediate repatriation of distressed OFWs. (AMN/Sunnex)