By Ferdinand G. Patino
MANILA, Nov. 25 (PNA) — The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) said families of the 13 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who were killed in a road accident along Haradh Road, Hawiyah, south of Al Hufuf in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia will receive over PhP200,000 worth of benefits.
OWWA Administrator Rebecca Calzado expressed her deepest condolences to the family of the OFWs.
“The legal heirs of the active OWWA members who died will receive PhP200,000 in death benefits, since their death was caused by an accident, with an additional funeral expense of PhP20,000,” said Calzado in a statement.
In the case of the injured workers, OWWA shall provide them with disability benefit of up to PhP100,000, depending on the severity of the disability. This benefit supplements what they will be receiving from their employer.
“We know how painful it is losing someone you love, much more, someone who is the breadwinner of the family. In response, we shall also provide their spouses with livelihood assistance in the form of a food cart equivalent to PhP15,000 and free training. In addition, under our Education and Livelihood Assistance Program (ELAP), we shall assist the schooling preferably of the oldest child (who is less than 21 years old) until he/she graduates from college,” the OWWA chief explained.
The amount ranges from PhP5,000 for elementary students, PhP8,000 for high school students, and PhP10,000 for college students per year. The same privilege shall be extended to the sibling of the affected unmarried worker.
Calzado added that the administration’s welfare officer in Saudi Arabia is monitoring the situation of the OFWs, and is in touch with their employer.
Likewise, she instructed the regional directors of OWWA to inform the workers’ families about the condition of their loved ones.
On the other hand, the OWWA will coordinate with the workers’ respective recruitment agencies as well as with the Department of Foreign Affairs to facilitate the repatriation of the workers’ remains for the sake of their families.
On November 16, half of the 26 workers on board the Toyota coaster died, when the vehicle collided with an articulated lorry (a tractor and semi-trailer combined).
The skilled workers of SA Kentz Ltd., a construction and engineering company, were on their way to their accommodation in Al-Ahsa, in the Eastern Province, when the accident happened.
The other 13 workers are recuperating in several hospitals in the area. (PNA)