Showing posts with label Social Welfare. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Social Welfare. Show all posts

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Homecoming for Alfredo Salmos set; family conveys thanks to FB users

News Release

Blas F. Ople Policy Center
May 20, 2012

Homecoming for Alfred Salmos set; family conveys thanks to FB users

Two years after suffering severe burns due to electrocution, overseas Filipino worker Alfredo Salmos is finally arriving home.

The 52-year old electrician from Nueva Ecija conveyed his gratitude to all Facebook users who wrote about his plight, uploaded videos about him on their page, and exerted pressure through social media for the government to help bring him home. The OFW suffered electrocution when he was shutting down a 14,000-volts breaker in February 2010 and was comatose for one month. An Indonesian couple has been caring for him since then. It was only recently, when his video and photo became viral, that help started to pour in, and arrangements to bring him home gained traction.

OFW advocate Susan Ople, who has been assisting the family in arranging for Alfred’s homecoming, said that the outpouring of concern from Filipino Facebook users and social media enthusiasts around the world signify a sea-change in how social media directly impacts on cases of distressed OFWs.

“The outpouring of support for Alfred Salmos demonstrates the power of Facebook as a platform for OFW assistance and empowerment,” Ople noted.

During this morning’s Tinapayan media forum in Manila, Alfred’s younger sister, Epifania Salmos Colina gave special thanks to the first Facebook user who posted Salmos’s photo and wrote about his plight. “Gusto ko man banggitin ang pangalan ay baka may mga makaligtaan ako kaya sa tamang oras na lamang po namin babanggitin lahat lahat ng dapat pasalamatan,” Epifania said.

Herself a former OFW, Alfred’s younger sister said that the family’s immediate priority is to give him time to rest and have private moments with his mother and siblings as well as to ensure that his medical needs are attended to. The last time that Alfred saw his mother was seven years ago during a brief vacation in the country.

“Sa amin po titira si Kuya at aalagan namin siya ng husto. Maraming salamat sa lahat ng mga tumulong at gustong tumulong sa kanya,” Colina said. (“My brother will stay with us and we will take good care of him. We would like to thank all those who helped him and who’d like to help him.”)

Alfred’s sister also acknowledged the assistance of the Overseas Workers’ Welfare Administration, the Villar Foundation and the Office of Senator Aquilino Pimentel III.

Senator Manny Villar and the Villar Foundation headed by his wife, former congresswoman Cynthia Villar, pledged to help with the medical expenses and livelihood assistance while Atty. Gwen Pimentel-Gana, chief of staff of the Office of Senator Koko Pimentel offered to coordinate with the Philippine General Hospital for the OFW’s medical treatment.

Previously, Alfred’s sister was also a beneficiary of the Villar Foundation’s Sagip OFW program when she availed of a free ticket home after running away from her abusive employer in Dammam, Saudi Arabia.

OWWA Administrator Carmelita Dimzon had earlier assured the Salmos family that Alfred would receive his full disability benefits as OWWA member as well as livelihood assistance. The OWWA official has also directed her staff to provide airport and transportation assistance to Salmos.

Ople appealed in behalf of the Salmos family: “I hope that we can all welcome Alfred Salmos home as a brother who suffered enormous physical and emotional pain while in Saudi Arabia. He deserves a warm, friendly, and dignified welcome after everything that he had to endure mostly by himself in Saudi Arabia.”
OFWs in Jeddah gather and donate to Alfredo Salmos

The NGO noted that Saudi Prince Mishaal bin Abdulaziz al Saud was instrumental in the waiver of fees accruing from the time Alfred’s car was impounded due to a car accident in 1998.

OFWs in Jeddah gather and donate to Alfredo Salmos

OFWs Romy Carbonel, Frank Resma, Joseph Espiritu and volunteers of Patnubay Riyadh among several others, assisted Alfred in sending a personal letter in Arabic addressed to the Office of the Governor of Jeddah to waive the accumulated fees that barred him from leaving Saudi Arabia. Jeddah-based OFW blogger Jebee Kenji Solis also helped out in gathering donations from fellow OFW bloggers throughout the world. Other NGOs, Facebook users, and Saudi-based OFWs have been helping Alfred Salmos in coordination with the family and the Philippine Consulate.

Photo Courtesy of Patnubay Online. Romy Carbonel with Frank Resma

In his appeal to Prince al Saud, Alfred Salmos wrote: “Your Royal Highness, I believe that you are fair regardless of race, color or creed. Please send me home to my country. I want to see my family. I haven't seen them for quite a long time. In the Philippines I have a family who can take care of me.  Please tell the Moroor to clear any penalty for my car registration and to consider my physical condition for humanitarian considerations.”

The Prince granted the plea of Alfred Salmos, all fees were waived, and in a matter of days, the OFW most featured in the pages of Pinoy Facebook users around the world, shall soon be home.

Photo Courtesy of Patnubay Online. Romy Carbonel with Mang Alfredo Salmos

For those who wish to help OFW Alfred Salmos, please get in touch with the Blas F. Ople Center via 833-5337/833-9562 for coordination purposes. Donations can be channelled to the bank account set up by Alfred’s sister: Epifania Reem S. Colina, BPI Carmen West Rosales Pangasinan #0639-0859-29.

©2012 Pinoy Expats/OFW Blog Awards

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

PEBA Help Comfort Global Kababayans


"Hello! Michael, this is _____________ from PEBA Help, we are a group of bloggers reaching out to our fellow OFW's around the world. How is everything in Sana'a Yemen? Can you update us about the situation and how are the Filipino's doing in that location?"

Typical introduction, same words spoken, except changing the names and locations. * Jenny, a nurse in Bahrain, *Christine a teacher in Tokyo, Japan, and Ramil, a draftsman in Qatif Saudi Arabia. 

PEBA Help is not that big, we don't have that much fund as well, but we are trying our best to help distressed OFW's around the world.

"Okay naman po dito. Magulo kasi palaki ng palaki ang nag-rarally. Kahapon nga may namatay na isa. Pumunta na dito yung isang Consul galing Saudi Arabia at dito na nga naglalagi, nilista na ang mga pangalan namin, at tinatanong kami kung sino ang uuwi ng libre" answered by Michael, an auto-mechanic working in Hyundai, Yemen.

"Magulo na po dito, nagrarally pa rin po, araw-araw ang daming dinadala sa ospital na sugatan. may pinalabas na po na ang advisory ang Embassy ng Pilipinas sa Bahrain para sa mga Pinoy dito" replied by *Jenny working as a staff nurse in Manama, Bahrain.

"Kanina may mga machine gun at tangke na nakaposte sa may kalsada, at maraming nakapaikot na militar dito sa tapat namin. Dito kasi sa tapat namin ung rally. Hindi na kami lumalabas pag may rally" reported by Ramil, based in Qatif Saudi Arabia where rallies are being held.

The most heart breaking moment was when we called, *Christine, an English teacher in one of the schools in Japan near the border Tochigi Prefecture. "Suspended po ang work namin ngayon, hindi na po kami pinapasok ng company namin dahil daw sa threat ng radiation, nagpapanic buying na po dito, nagkakaubusan na ng tubig at mga pagkain. Ang ibang Pinoy po, nag-iipon-ipon na kasi maya't maya po may lindol, mga aftershocks, at kaiissue lang po ng warning na may paparating na naman na Tsunami." We can feel the trembling in her voice, and the fears of whatever lies ahead. 

We ask her to calm down, and asked if she was able to contact her family in the Philippines, and provide her contact details of Philippine embassies in Japan.

What do we usually do is contact people, we called them, assess the situation and refer them to consulates, Bantay OFW, Blas Ople Policy Center, Migrante and other groups and agencies that can help in the situation. Small ways, but it always starts from there.

PEBA Help is another social project of PEBA, Inc, helping distressed Filipino's around the world. 

Wherever we are, we hope and pray that each of us will be safe from any harm and danger, and that we can continue to move on with our lives, providing for our families, and one day be back home and enjoy together with them. God bless po ang mga OFW's around the globe!

©2011 Pinoy Expats/OFW Blog Awards

Friday, February 18, 2011

PEBA Cares

PEBA CARES goes to Bethany House Orphanage

“Sa langit. Nagdadasal kami para matugunan ang pangangailangan namin para sa lahat ng bata dito sa ampunan.”

(In heaven. We pray to provide our needs for all the kids here in the orphanage)

Those are the words from Sister Jess, the administrative incharge of the Bethany House when the PEBA 2011 Chairwoman asked here where do they get the budget in running the orphanage. The three sisters under the Archdiocese of Malolos Bulacan have 59 kids, ages five to twelve years old, 4 of them, small babies.

We feel great with the kindness and patiences of the sisters in taking care of these orphaned kids. During the conversation, Ms. Yanah and PEBA Volunteer Marco found out that the orphanage is consuming one sack of rice a day, and the local government is rationing them with 10 sacks a month. Which is really not enough. She also found out that during December, they have enough, and the sisters can stretch it until June. Once the rainy season comes, that's the time that they're having trouble sustaining the foods for the kids. That’s the time they start to really pray hard and seek for help.

The almost 60 kids have needs. They need to eat, have clothes, go to school, and live a decent life. Most of these kids are abandoned, they were just left anywhere by their parents, while some others were purposely left by their parents there at the orphanage for an obvious reasons - they can't sustain them. Yanah reported to the PEBA that "some of these kids came from the streets, were picked up by DSWD and brought to the orphanage. The nuns who runs Bethany, really tries their best to make ends meet for these children.  They feel the need to provide them with their basic needs, they feel the need to give these children not only their material needs but their love and care as well."

PEBA Cares is another social project of PEBA, along with PEBA Scholars, and PEBA Help. PEBA may not have that much budget, but we can do so much by appealing to our friends and fans to support our programs because goodness is everywhere and we believe that we can do so much to help and lift others.

The tentative schedule of the project to revisit the kids and bring them some help will be announced here as we appeal for support and donations . You can also purchase TEE-SHIRTS here for the PEBA Scholars and PEBA Cares funds.

For more information, you can email contact@pinoyblogawards.com or yanah@pinoyblogawards.com

©2010 Pinoy Expats/OFW Blog Awards

Join Us on Facebook