Saturday, May 19, 2012

Thanks to Facebook, unfortunate OFW finally coming home

Thanks to an online campaign, Alfredo Salmos, an overseas Filipino working in Saudi Arabia who was electrocuted two years ago, is set to return to the Philippines. After hundreds of Facebook shares, Salmos and his friends attracted government attention and the OFW is now all set to go home. “I am pleased to announce that our kababayan, Mr. Alfredo Salmos, an OFW in Saudi Arabia who survived an accidental electrocution in 2010 which left him with severe injuries rendering him unable to work, is coming home in the next few weeks,” Vice President Jejomar Binay said in a statement. The 52-year-old OFW from Nueva Ecija, whose dire condition spread in social networking sites, has been unemployed since he got electrocuted by nearly 14,000 electric volts while performing his work. Body severely scarred, Salmos is still recuperating from his injuries as he can’t afford to pay for his medication. Binay, the presidential adviser on OFW concerns, said Salmos’ repatriation was delayed because of a lack of a final exit clearance from his employer, and a police clearance in connection with his involvement in a car accident a decade ago. With the coordination of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Philippine Consulate in Jeddah, Department of Labor and Employment and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, the vice president successfully negotiated with the Saudi government to grant Salmos’ exit. Binay also lauded Consul General Uriel Norman Garibay of the Philippine Consulate in Jeddah for locating Salmos’ employer and sponsor, and paving the way for his repatriation. “I would also like to express my gratitude to the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the assistance in granting the police clearance for Mr. Salmos. I am confident that the relations between the Philippines and Saudi Arabia will continue to be fruitful and mutually beneficial,” he added.