Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Feb 12 18, 3:40 pm

Bicam committee approves PH ID system bill

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NAIA Consortium agrees to shorten airport rehab period to 15 years

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Bello: Deployment of OFWs to Kuwait to begin next week

Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) secretary Silvestre Bello III announced on Wednesday, May 23, that deployment of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to Kuwait will begin next week. During the Senate’s hearing on the cases of OFW abuses and deaths overseas,...

Good Samaritan employers help distressed OFW

by | News

Leah Reyes Rathnayake (third from left) together with Al Habtoor Group Chairman, HE Khalaf Ahmed Al Habtoor (center) and Malek Mousa, (third from right) AHG Chief Procurement Officer and her colleagues with the conglomerate’s Procurement Team during last year’s  Employee Excellence Awards ceremony.

DUBAI: Saying acts of benevolence should not go unnoticed, An overseas Filipina worker (OFW), shared her story to The Filipino Times, telling the world: “Maraming ibang lahi na may magagandang loob.” (There are many people of other race who have a big heart.”)

Leah Reyes Rathnayake, who recently went through a harrowing experience with the demise of her elder sister, Laarni, following a 47-day battle with brain aneurysm, said she and her kin wouldn’t have made it through had it not been for the support she received from her employer.

“There is no way of repaying their goodness but to share it to inspire other people to continuously do good and choose to do good because it pays off in the most unexpected ways,” said Leah Reyes Rathnayake, who works as a procurement executive assistant at a UAE conglomerate – Al   Habtoor Group.

Rathnayake said her ordeal started last Dec. 4 when her sister had to be rushed to the hospital because of the medical condition.  “During this period,” she said, “my immediate boss, Mr. Malek Mousa was in constant support emotionally, together with my co-employees.”

Rathnayake said Mousa assisting her with the financial matters, including expenses incurred in bringing her sister’s 15-year-old daughter to Dubai to see her mother.

“He’s been in constant dialogue with our directors  and  our higher management who were given directives by our Chairman, H.E. Khalaf Ahmed Al Habtoor to arrange immediate medical repatriation of my sister.”

Unfortunately, Rathnayake said, her sister passed away while paperwork was being processed.

“At this stage,” she said, “AHG management did not leave me battling it alone as they initiated moves to help me be a guarantor at the hospital, as well as provided me with repatriation expenses, including immediate family ticket and burial assistance to ensure that the bereaved daughters are at least financially stable.”

“Irrespective of color and beliefs,”  Rathnayake said, “H.E. Khalaf Ahmed Al Habtoor proved to be a genuine ambassador of goodwill.

“We are now living proof that the people around him carries the same philosophy of giving without asking for anything in return.”

Rathnayake also wishes to thank everyone who helped her through the tough times, including AHG directors Maan Halabi, Noura Badawi, Atef Mousa, Abdulsalam Al Marzooqi and the Habtoor Hospitality led by Kamal Naami; likewise she said she is very thankful to all her colleagues. “There are no words to express how humbled and how grateful we are for your unyielding support and sincere compassion. We would also like to thank Consulate General Paul Raymund Cortes who also found time to visit my sister personally. I would also like to thank Mr. Rey Angulo who assisted me 24/7 to expedite the process of repatriation.”

Christmas reunion

Laarni, Rathnayake’s sister had worked in another Gulf country as a store supervisor for 12 years. She came to Dubai last August and decided to stay on, apparently to be with her eldest daughter, a fresh graduate working as a restaurant staff.

This, while continuing to provide support for her second daughter, a 15-year-old whom she has not seen in a long time and who, ironically got a chance to reunite with her on her deathbed last Christmas.

Recalled Rathnayake: “Machine-dependent na sya (Laarni) in coma and her condition was getting worse. May kasabihan nga, pagka ganyan, bubulungan at nakikinig daw kaya naman nag-stabilize sya in time for her daughter’s arrival. Matagal silang hindi nagkita.” (She was machine-dependent in coma and her condition was getting worse. We have a saying, that in times like this, whisper to them and they’ll listen. We did and she stabilized in time for her daughter’s arrival. They haven’t seen each other for a long time.)

But Laarni, a single mother, couldn’t hold for long; she expired five days later on Jan. 20, 2018 as if waiting to say last goodbyes to her 15-year-old.

“We were praying for a miracle but God has plans for her,” Rathnayake said. Laarni arrived home in the Philippines on Jan. 24, 2018. Her swift repatriation made possible with help by community volunteer social worker, Rey Angulo who assisted Rathnayake with the document processing. (With a report from Neil Bie)

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THE FILIPINO TIMES is the biggest and most trusted Filipino newspaper in the UAE.

It has a print run of 60,000 copies and 250,000 readership per week; bolstered by 1 million visitors to its website every month. It also has an e-newsletter sent to its 250,000 subscribers every day.

The Filipino Times is FREE and has the widest targeted circulation across the 7 emirates of the UAE.

With more than 2,500 strategic distribution spots, TFT is available where the Filipinos are - at Smart Bus Shelters, Metro Stations, restaurants, supermarkets, schools, airport lounges, Emirates and Etihad Philippine-bound flights, churches, Filipino community events and many more.

THE FILIPINO TIMES. We are where the Filipinos are.

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