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Saturday, March 23, 2013

Former OFW Wins State Lottery

A former overseas Filipino worker (OFW) said he was happy to win half of the 36.7 million pesos (Dh3.29 million) from a government-run lottery because it could help his cancer-stricken son, a local paper said.

The 60-year-old winner of the March 17 lottery (lotto) draw of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) was crying when he got his money, PCSO assistant budget and accounting manager Paloma Malinao told the Philippine Star.

The OFW, whose name was not released, was bankrupt and had lost all his savings since his son had started treatment for stage 4 cancer, said Malinao.

The OFW’s other younger son, a second-year college student, was also forced to drop out of school, said Malinao.

The OFW was relieved that his win could help him redeem the mortgage papers of his house which was recently foreclosed by the bank, according to PCSO General Manager Jose Ferdinand Rojas.

But above all, the OFW’s main concern, is the recovery of his bedridden son, said Rojas, adding this was the reason why the OFW was “not crying for joy” despite winning the PCSO’s top lottery this week.

The other winner of the lottery was from suburban Muntinlupa City.

source: GULFNEWS

Friday, March 15, 2013

OFW Zapanta given 3-month reprieve — VP Binay

Vice President Jejomar Binay yesterday  announced that Joselito Zapanta, the overseas Filipino worker (OFW) scheduled for execution in Saudi Arabia, has been given a three-month reprieve by the Saudi government.

At a press conference at the Coconut Palace, Binay, the presidential adviser for OFW Concerns, said Saudi King Abdullah has given an order to defer the execution of all qizas or death penalty cases in the Arab country, including that of Zapanta.

He said this was confirmed by Adbulaziz Abdulrahman Al Gaeit, the Assistant of the Undersecretary for Public Rights of the Emir’s Office, who met with the Philippine Embassy officials in Riyadh.
Binay said Zapanta’s reprieve begins the day after the deadline set by the victim’s relatives for the payment of the blood money.

However, the Vice President clarified that the reprieve did not mean that the deadline set for Zapanta’s family to pay the blood money has also been extended.  “There is still no decision from the victim’s family on this matter. But this is to be given attention by our embassy in Riyadh,” he said.  Binay again thanked King Abdullah “for yet another humanitarian gesture.”

“His benevolence has given our kababayan a three month lease on life, and his family additional time to raise the blood money,” he said.  “We also wish to thank the Emir’s Office for their efforts in facilitating the amicable settlement and forgiveness, as well as the extension of the deadlines, allowing the maximum period for the settlement of the amount,” Binay added.

He also pointed to the work being done by the Philppine Ambassador to Saudi, Ambassador Tago and the entire officials and officers of in our Embassy, and the DFA headed by Secretary Albert del Rosario, in their efforts to help our countrymen abroad.”” he further said.

The Vice President also revealed that President  Aquino and Zapanta’s mother, Maymona, both wrote King Abdullan on March 9 to ask for his help.

Binay said Zapanta and his mother were able to talk on March 10, when the latter, accompanied by Philippine Embassy officials, visited her son in jail.

The Vice President reiterated his appeal for help to come up with the full amount needed to secure Zapanta’s freedom.

source: Tribune

POEA Suspend Al-Masiyah Overseas Placement Agency

POEA Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac yesterday ordered the preventive suspension of the recruiters of a Filipino household worker who allegedly committed suicide five (5) days after she arrived in Abu Dhabi.

Administrator Cacdac said he ordered the suspension of Al-Masiya Overseas Placement Agency, Inc., and Al Madina Recruitment -- its counterpart agency in United Arab Emirates -- for their apparent oversight in monitoring the actual condition of Alona Mercado Bagayan prior to her death.

Cacdac said Bagayan was recruited by Al-Masiyah Overseas Placement to work as a household worker. She left the Philippines on January 30, and was turned over by Al Madina Recruitment to her employer on February 1. She was found dead on February 5, 2013.

Cacdac ordered the temporary suspension of Al-Masiya for engaging in the placement of workers in jobs harmful to public health, and its failure to report to the POEA the death of its deployed worker. Cacdac said the death of Bagayan could have been prevented if Al-Masiya complied with its duties and obligation as provided under the POEA rules.

“Under POEA regulations, agencies are obliged to monitor the situation of OFWs – especially household service workers – as soon as they arrive in their workplace,” Cacdac said.

The administrator said Al Madina Recruitment was suspended from further employing Filipino workers for defaulting on its contractual obligation to the worker, and for gross negligence leading to the death of the Bagayan.

"There is strong evidence indicating that the two (2) agencies committed serious violations relative to the recruitment and placement of the subject OFW, and also considering that Al-Masiya has nine (9) pending recruitment violation cases before the POEA, we believe that there are valid and justifiable grounds that the continued operation of the two (2) agencies would lead to further violations and exploitation of the workers being recruited," Cacdac said.

source:  POEA