Group says ‘heads must roll’ over the death of 72-year old OFW

A 72-year old and sick overseas Filipino worker (OFW) in Saudi Arabia passed away Tuesday, according to the report received by Migrante-Middle East (M-ME) from its officials based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
M-ME regional coordinator John Leonard Monterona, citing report from Migrante-Jeddah chairperson Marlon Gatdula, confirmed that 72-year old OFW Mateo Amaro, from Caloocan City, passed away Tuesday at around 10:00 a.m.

OFW Amaro, with the help of Migrante-Jeddah officers and concerned OFWs, was brought and confined at King Fahad Hospital for several weeks as he is suffering from tuberculosis positive 3 and complications due to diabetes.

OFW Amaro is in Saudi Arabia for twenty (20) long years already. “His being undocumented deprived him to be home, just like the thousands of undocumented OFWs, and reunite with his family.”

On September 6, M-ME issued a statement criticizing a Jeddah-based Philippine labor official and a welfare officer of OWWA as it accused the latter for not attending the repatriation and for failure to provide the needed assistance, medical care included, to OFW Amaro.

Monterona said Migrante officers and members in Jeddah contributed to provide air ticket for OFW Amaro.

“Though we already paid and secured an air ticket for OFW Amaro, still he could not be repatriated pending the issuance of exit clearance from his sponsor-employer,” Monterona averred.

He added that Migrante officers in Jeddah kept on on following OFW Amaro’s repatriation when he is not critical then to PH labor attaché Vicente Cabe and a certain Qassim, OWWA welfare officer in Jeddah, but both simply ignore and just don’t care.

“If only our Migrante officers in Jeddah are in a position and authority to talk and negotiate with OFW Amaro’s employer for the issuance of his exit clearance, then they’re more than willing to do so,” Monterona averred.

On his part, Migrante-Jeddah chairperson Gatdula said, “If only PH labor and welfare officials properly attended the sick OFW Amaro and work for his immediate repatriation, then he should have been reunited with his family alive.”

M-ME and Migrante-Jeddah are asking the heads of Labor Attache Vicente Cabe and OWWA welfare officer Qassim as both are criminally negligent in OFW Amaro’s case.

“The heads of these two PH officials in Jeddah must roll! Both (referring to Cabe and Qassim) don’t deserve to be on their respective position any longer,” Monterona asserted.

Monterona noted that PNoy has been in office for more than 2 years and yet cleaning the diplomatic posts of bad eggs (referring to inept embassy, labor, and welfare officials) is still wanting.

“We note that under PNoy administration, no substantial difference from previous administrations, there’s the continued neglect and sheer incapacity of the PH government to look into the cases of thousands upon thousands of OFWs knocking on the doors of its agencies, consulates and embassies for safe haven, interventions, legal remedies, and repatriation,” Monterona concluded.

Meanwhile, the group said they will inform the family of OFW Amaro of his death through Migrante International staff in Manila and would press the PH Consulate to attend his remains immediate repatriation.

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