Saudi OFW with kidney failure needs help

AN ailing overseas Filipino worker in  Saudi Arabia needs immediate medical attention, according to an affiliate group of Migrante-Middle East (M-ME) in Saudi Arabi.

OFW Join Force (OJF-Migrante), a group based in Al-Khobar, chairperson Sonny Rivera and fellow officer Jules Ragas reported to M-ME John Leonard Monterona the condition of OFW Armando Gozum, 37, a native of Tarlac.

Rivera and Ragas responded to a concerned fellow OFW’s call to provide aid to OFW Gozum who is sick and sleeping outside a mosque in Al-Khobar.

“11: 30 PM may tumawag po sa amin isa sa OFW dito sa Al Khobar, kung pwede po ba raw naming bisitahin ang isang OFW na natutulog nalang sa labas ng isang Mosque sa may Al Khobar at may malalang sakit (Eleven-thirty p.m., one of the OFWs here in Al-Khobar called us asking if we can visit an OFW sleeping outside a mosque who is very sick),” Rivera on his email to Monterona and other Migrante officers.

The OJF-Migrante quick reaction team, indeed, found OFW Gozum sleeping on a bench alongside a mosque in Al-Khobar. (See photos of OFW Gozum taken yesterday night).

“OFW Gozum informed our colleague that he is suffering from kidney failure,” Monterona said.

The gourp found out that OFW Guzom is an undocumented OFWs since 2007, after he ran away from his employer for alleged labor malpractices. Since then, he jumped from one part time job to another until he became sick.

“OFW Gozum alleged that he once called and talked, by phone, to PH Ambassador Ezzadin Tago asking for assistance,” Rivera adding that OFW Gozum confirmed that he was not attended by any PH embassy and labor/welfare officials in Al-Khobar after he made his call to Amb. Tago.

Monterona said his group will remind Ambassador Tago about OFW Gozum, and the allegation that he did not attend OFW Gozum’s request for assistance.

“For sure, Amb. Tago has its own version of the story. But we are inclined to believe fellow OFWs’ stories on their deplorable conditions rather than the lies of PH embassy and labor officials trying to cover their own ineptitude and would not even mind lifting a hand to help the distressed and abused OFWs,” Monterona added.

Monterona said PH embassy and labor officials already knew what to do in cases like of OFW Guzom, aside from providing immediate medical attention. “Embassy and labor officials should trace his sponsor-employer to verify if there is an absconding case filed against him. If none, then negotiate for the issuance of an exit clearance for OFW Gozum.”

“On our part, we will ask OWWA chief Carmelita Baldoz to provide airfare ticket for OFW Gozum while awaiting his travel document and issuance of exit clearance. We will work for his medication and repatriation,” Monterona concluded.

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