Abused OFW’s family gets assistance from OWWA

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 28 May) – The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) has released a package of assistance to the family of an overseas Filipino worker from Pikit, North Cotabato who was earlier abused by her employer in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

OWWA Administrator Carmelita Dimzon personally handed down on Tuesday an initial financial assistance of P15,000 to the family of Fahima Alagasi, 23, who suffered first degree burns after her employer reportedly poured boiling water on her body.

She said the agency will provide scholarships to Alagasi’s two children as well as livelihood assistance to her family.

“We will do everything we can to assist (Alagasi) and her family while they go through this ordeal,” she said in a press conference in Koronadal City.

Dimzon said the agency has coordinated with the Department of Foreign Affairs and other concerned agencies to allow the victim to return home within this week.

The OFW is currently confined at a safe house of the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking, said Susan Ople of the Ople Center, a non-government organization helping distressed OFWs.

Dimzon said they have made some coordination regarding the victim’s legal action against her employer.

She said they already suspended the license of the recruitment agency that facilitated the deployment of Alagasi and also blacklisted her employer.

Fahima’s father Musa Alagasi lauded the national government’s efforts regarding the plight of his daughter.

Despite Fahima’s ordeal, he said they were quite relieved so far, knowing that the government will fully take care of her and her needs.

Din Budtong, Fahima’s cousin, urged the government to help bring proper justice to the victim for the sake of the other OFWs who were also abused by their employers.

OWWA-12 records showed that a total of 66,603 OFWs from the region are currently working in various countries, mostly in the Middle East.

The agency said it has been receiving around 40 to 50 cases regarding OFWs who were reportedly abused by their employers and needing their assistance.