SEN. PACQUIAO GIVES P50K CASH ASSISTANCE TO DEPORTED OFWs

MAKATI CITY - Overseas Filipino worker Sumaya Macaoyag went home feeling depressed and hopeless after a short working stint in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Macaoyag, 41, left behind her husband and two children in October last year to try her luck abroad.

She worked as domestic helper in Riyadh for three months until one day the police arrived in her workplace purposely to investigate her.

"The police asked some questions then got my fingerprints. After that, I was already told to pack up my things then they brought me to the airport for deportation," a teary-eyed Macaoyag said.

She did not get even a single centavo as payment for three months that she worked as domestic worker in Riyadh.

"It was so painful on my part to be terminated from work without any reason. My family is relying on me for support. Now that I was sent back home, what will happen to my family?" Macaoyag narrated between sobs.

Macaoyag and eight other OFWs from Riyadh arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport on Friday morning.

They all claimed they were terminated from work no less than by their respective employer without valid reasons.

According to the dismissed overseas workers, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) provided their plane tickets from Riyadh to Manila.

One concerned citizen brought the distraught OFWs from NAIA to Araneta Colisuem on Friday evening where senator Manny Pacquiao was leading the launching ceremony of Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL).

Aside from joining them in the dinner, senator Pacquiao gave them free tickets to watch the MPBL opening game.

"I told them not to lose hope instead they should strive harder to cope with the temporary setback in their lives. It's not yet the end of the world. Maybe, God has other plans for them," senator Pacquiao said.

The senator from Mindanao then gave P50,000 cash assistance to each of the deported OFWs.

"With that amount, they can start a small business. Konting tulong pero malayo ang mararating kung ma-manage ng maayos yong pera," the boxer-lawmaker said.

Macaoyag, a resident of Esperanza town in Sultan Kudarat province, thanked Sen. Pacquiao for the cash assistance.

"Napakabait at napakamatulungin niya. Malaking tulong sa aming mga OFW ang ibinigay niyang pera," Macaoyag said.

Other OFWs who arrived together with Macaoyag were Novena Vadil, 43; Jocelyn Javier, 32; Gilbert Bongato, 53; Renen Casas, 38; Roynald Mesde, 33; Marlon Sarmiento, 39; Ronnie Malones, 35; and Darwin Franco, 37.

Source: Senate of the Philippines

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