30 distressed OFWs arrived from Abu Dhabi

MANILA, Philippines – Thirty abused Filipino migrant workers who sought refuge at the OWWA shelter in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, are now back in the Philippines.

Radio dzBB’s Denver Trinidad reported that the workers, mostly domestic helpers, arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila shortly before noon on board a Cathay Pacific Airlines flight.

The report said the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) were assisted by the staff of Senator Manuel Villar Jr., who shouldered the Dubai-Manila plane tickets of the “repatriates."

The Migrante Sectoral Party (MSP) earlier said Villar also paid for the required exit fees, cancellation fees, and penalties charged by the UAE immigration office against the distressed OFWs.

MSP vice chairperson said John Leonard Monterona also said Villar has committed to pay for the fares of the workers when they go home to their respective provinces.

Monterona said the workers sought refuge at the OWWA shelter in Abu Dhabi, UAE’s capital, after running away from their employers who allegedly maltreated, overworked, or did not pay them.

Monterona said the intervention of Villar was greatly appreciated by the workers, who have been languishing at the shelter maintained by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) in Abu Dhabi for months.

Villar, who has expressed his intention to seek the presidency in 2010, has taken up the cause of stranded OFWs among his advocacies.

He has previously bankrolled the repatriation of scores of distressed workers from Jordan and Saudi Arabia.