OWWA Administrator Rebecca J. Calzado extends her deepest condolences to the family of the thirteen (13) OFWs who were killed in a road accident along Haradh Road, Hawiyah, south of Al Hufuf in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. The mishap happened last 16 November 2015 at 5:38 pm when their Toyota coaster collided with an articulated lorry (a tractor and semi-trailer combined). The twenty-six (26) workers, who were skilled workers of SA Kentz Ltd., a construction and engineering company, were on their way to their accommodation in Al-Ahsa, in the Eastern Province, from their work site when the accident happened. The other thirteen (13) workers are recuperating in several hospitals in the area.
“The legal heirs of the active OWWA members who died will receive Php200,000.00 in death benefits, since their death was caused by an accident, with an additional funeral expense of Php20,000.00,” Administrator Calzado said.
In the case of the injured workers, OWWA shall provide them with disability benefit of up to Php100,000.00, depending on the severity of the disability. This benefit supplements what they will be receiving from their employer.
“We know how painful it is losing someone you love, much more, someone who is the breadwinner of the family. In response, we shall also provide their spouses with livelihood assistance in the form of a food cart equivalent to P 15,000 and free training. In addition, under our Education and Livelihood Assistance Program (ELAP), we shall assist the schooling preferably of the oldest child (who is less than 21 years old) until he/she graduates from college,” the Administrator explained. The amount ranges from Php5,000 for elementary students, Php8,000 for high school students and Php10,000 for college students per year. The same privilege shall be extended to the sibling of the affected unmarried worker.
The OWWA Administrator said that the OWWA welfare officer in Saudi Arabia is keeping a close watch on the situation of the workers, and is in touch with their employer. She will update Manila regularly. The OWWA Administrator also instructed the regional directors of OWWA to inform the workers’ families about the condition of their loved ones. In Manila, OWWA will coordinate with the workers’ respective recruitment agencies as well as with the DFA to facilitate the repatriation of the workers’ remains for the sake of their families. (pr/OWWA)