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PH Embassy in UAE repatriates 105 victims of human trafficking

by | TOP STORIES

Feb. 14, 18 | 12:13 pm

ABU DHABI: They’d be coming home for Valentine’s.

With the cooperation of the UAE government, the Philippine Embassy has successfully repatriated 105 victims of human trafficking in the evening of February 13, bringing them back to their own families and homes.

Ambassador Constancio R. Vingno, Jr. together with his spouse, Madam Yoko Ramos-Vingno, as well as representatives from the Departments of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Foreign Affairs (DFA), and the Overseas Workers Welfare Association (OWWA), accompanied the distressed OFWs to the airport at around 7:30 pm last night.   Arrangements were made together with the assistance of the Philippine Airlines who set the flight schedules for the OFWs.

FILE PHOTO

Vingno shared: “They (distressed OFWs) fell into this trap of false promises. They were promised high paying jobs and were offered positions such as teachers, tutors, waiters, workers in a hotel, as a bakers etc. They were given fake contracts that were made to look genuine.”

He added: “The unfortunate part here, at nakakalungkot, is that these are coming from their friends, neighbors or even their own relatives, offering them. But the truth is they (OFWs contact) are already in connivance with bad elements here – different nationalities, even Filipinos.”

“They (distressed OFWs) will then be deployed to different families, sometimes to a big family with a big house. How can one OFW even do all the chores in that house? All the cleaning, cooking, washing clothes, taking care of the children, and sometimes the same family lends the household help to their extended family like the husband’s or wife’s parents. This is the same story of every household worker that we’ve come across with many, many times.” Vingno said.

Ambassador Constancio R. Vingno, Jr.: “Without the help of the UAE authorities, we would not have been able to send as many workers.”

These distressed OFWs who sought help from the Philippine Embassy will then stay at a center where they await repatriation. During their stay, they are taught different skills and courses such as sewing, make-up, nail polishing, and more to make sure that they can practice these back home to make a living. “We are fortunate that we get trainers who offer their services pro bono. These trainers even give out actual machines, starter kits and other related equipment to those who excel.” said Vingno.

Once the distressed OFW gets home, they receive financial assistance from OWWA. “This is for the OFW to have a fresh start back home. It may be a small business or a startup, but now they are their own boss. If they work hard, they will have many clients.” said Vingno.

Vingno thanked the UAE government for assisting in the repatriation. “Without the help of the UAE authorities, we would not have been able to send as many workers.” said Vingno.  

FILE PHOTO

Madam Yoko Ramos-Vingno also facilitated the giving out of free luggage bags coming from donated by various organizations in the local Filipino community.

In January 2018, around 189 distressed OFWs were repatriated and by end of February – the Embassy said it expects the number to reach close or even exceed 500.

FILE PHOTO

Over 3,000 distressed OFWs were repatriated by the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi and Philippine Consulate General in Dubai last year – all victims of human traffickers.

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It has a print run of 60,000 copies and 250,000 readership per week; bolstered by 2.5 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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