Some of the women are pregnant, with children, aged and newly operated are getting sick

An estimate of 300 Filipinos are still in the amnesty shelter of Kuwait and some have been staying for nearly two months. Many complained about depression, lack of urgent medical attention for children, older people getting sick, lack of food and depression. However, they are thankful that Kuwait provides them with such opportunity to avail of amnesty, clean accommodation and free ticket.

“We call upon the attention for the Philippine Embassy for their lack of attention and concern regarding our situation here. Many of us have been here for nearly two months and we have appealed to them for assistance several times as we lack food, medicines and other essentials for pregnant, older women and those newly operated but for nearly two months we never got any response. It was until someone posted an appeal in social media that relief packs were sent courtesy of Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and Department of Social Workers Development (DSWD) and that was once and shared by us, it was not even enough,” complained Ana, a mother of one child.

Some of the women also complained that in those weeks, there have been no officials from the embassy who visited them despite knowing that their stay will be extended due to the lockdown of both airports. “Not once have we been visited by anyone from the embassy or any attached agencies to check our condition especially our children. Yesterday we received relief packs from Filipino organizations and once from the attached agencies of the embassy,” stated Yolly. She added that staying in the shelter for two months has caused a lot of women to experience depression and due to lack of support and attention from responsible department has caused many to post for appeal in several social media sites in a desperate bid to raise awareness to the Philippine government and its local officials on their current situation.

“Let it not be for us but for the children who are getting sick here, we urge the embassy and Philippine government to look into our situation with urgency and while waiting they should look into our welfare. They should take responsibility and their job does not end when they endorsed us here, none of us wanted to be here this long but while we are here so being OFWs we deserve their attention and service,” complained Tessie, mother of child.

She also questioned the Philippine government as to why some countries in the Middle East have continuously repatriated OFWs on similar circumstances, but why can’t the embassy in Kuwait arrange the same way at least on behalf of numerous children in the shelter. A spokesperson from the shelter for males also stated that some for them have been there for nearly two months and appeal to the embassy to work on their urgent repatriation. GMA 7 News and Current Affairs Philippines have aired today their grievances to the Philippine government and hope to receive positive response.

In reply to the appeal to the Filipinos in the shelter, Charges D’ Affaires of the Philippine Embassy Charleson Hermosura sent a statement to The Times via email  and stated:

“The Philippine Embassy has been made aware of the plight of Filipinos in the amnesty shelters. We wish to note that their repatriation has not yet taken place because of the scheduling of flights by host country authorities and the temporary closure of Philippine airports to decongest quarantine centers.

 In order to avoid congesting quarantine centers again, flights are scheduled by Philippine authorities in a staggered manner. The Embassy provided help by sending goods and, for children, milk and diapers for those who are staying in the amnesty shelter for women.

We are also soon sending goods to amnesty grantees staying at the shelter for men. The Embassy continues to coordinate with host country and Philippine authorities on the repatriation of our kababayan in both shelters”.

The amnesty program of Kuwait commenced from 1st till 5th of April and 26th till 30th of April with an estimate of 3,500 Filipinos availing of the relief period against 12,000 reported violators staying in the country.

Ricky Laxa / Staff Writer

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