• OWWA prepared to help sexually exploited Filipina migrant workers

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    The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) on Saturday said they are preparing assistance to the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) that were allegedly sexually exploited by Philippine government officials assigned in foreign posts.

    OWWA Administrator Carmelita Dimzon said the agency can offer the victimized OFWs “stress debriefing, psycho-social counseling since we have those programs available.”

    She also added that they will also offer their reintegration and livelihood program.

    Under OWWA’s “Balik-Pinay, Balik-Hanapbuhay” program, there would be starter kits worth P10,000 offered to returning OFWs, along with home-based livelihood business development and skills training.

    Dimzon also said that if they are members of OWWA, their children can also benefit from the agency’s scholarship program.

    The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has begun investigating Filipino government officials in the Middle East who were accused of targeting distressed female OFWs whom they supposedly offered immediate repatriation in exchange for sexual favors.

    Among the labor officials summoned to the probe are Riyadh-based assistant labor attaché Antonio Villafuerte and former Labor Attaché to Jordan Mario Antonio.

    JOHANNA M. SAMPAN

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