OFW saved from death row in UAE receives livelihood aid

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 01 December) — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in Region 12 released livelihood assistance on Thursday to an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) from this city who was earlier saved from the death row in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Sisinio Cano, DOLE-12 regional director, said Friday they provided former domestic helper Jennifer Dalquez with livelihood starter kits through the flagship DOLE Integrated Livelihood Program.

He said the assistance was formally turned over to Dalquez on Thursday afternoon by DOLE-12 personnel led by assistant regional director Arlene Bisnon and city field office head Fatima Bataga.

The official said the starter kits, worth P29,205.70, consisted of packages for “sari-sari” store enhancement and a carinderia or eatery project.

These include assorted grocery items, four sacks of premium rice, kitchenware, complete set of burner with Liquefied Petroleum Gas or LPG tank and other cooking implements, he said.

Cano said they came up with the assistance package based on the results of their coordination and evaluation on the needs of Dalquez, a resident of Barangay Labangal here.

The agency had explored possible employment opportunities for the former OFW, but the latter instead chose the “self-employment option,” he said.

“The family already has an existing sari-sari store and she wanted to expand it. Her mother also has cooking skills so we provided them with a starter kit for a carinderia business,” Cano said.

Aside from these, he said they will provide additional assistance to Dalquez in the form of skills trainings.

Dalquez, 31, returned home last Nov. 9 and reunited with her family after more than seven years abroad.

She was sent to the death row in UAE in 2015 for stabbing to death a male employer who assaulted and tried to rape her.

But she was acquitted and eventually freed last Oct. 25 through interventions from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and DOLE.

Dalquez earlier said she will no longer seek another job opportunity abroad and instead stay home “for good” so she can take care of her two children.

President Rodrigo Duterte, who met with Dalquez and her parents in Malacanang, promised to provide her with livelihood opportunities and other necessary assistance.

The DFA and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration have released financial assistance to Dalquez. (MindaNews)