OFWs who died in UAE flooding ‘coming home’ this week

2024 April 23

MANILA – The Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) is targeting to bring home the remains of the three overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who died during the severe flooding in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on or before April 27.

In a virtual press conference on Tuesday, DMW Officer-in-charge Undersecretary Hans Leo Cacdac said the Migrant Workers Office (MWO) in Dubai is now processing the needed documents to be able to repatriate the bodies.

“’Yung anak nung isa sa mga namatay ay on a visit visa at hanggang April 28 lang ang validity ng kaniyang visa kaya to avoid any complication ang aming target is on or before April 27 ay maka-uwi sila (One of the victims’ child is on a visit visa which is valid until April 28, so to avoid complications, we are targeting on or before April 27),” MWO Dubai Labor Attache John Rio Bautista explained.

He said part of the process before the remains can be repatriated is to secure police and forensic reports, no objection certificate and death certificate from the Philippine Consulate.

Bautista said they have already turned over the personal belongings of two of the victims to their next of kin in Dubai.

The relatives of the two OFWs also received other entitlements of the victims such as unpaid salary and leave credits.

“The employer will likewise claim against the insurance para magkaroon pa ng karagdagang benepisyo na pwedeng ibigay dun sa dalawang kababayan natin na nagtatrabaho sa isang eskwelahan dito (to be able to claim additional benefits that may be given to the two victims who worked in a school here),” Bautista said.

Doubts surrounding death

Meanwhile, Cacdac went to Bacolor, Pampanga on Tuesday to visit the family of one of the two female OFWs who died from suffocation inside their vehicle while stranded during the Dubai flooding on April 16.

The families of two victims earlier expressed doubts on the circumstances surrounding the death of their relatives.

The families sought the help of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration for clarifications.

“Isa sa mga dahilan kaya sinadya ang pamilya sa Bacolor to discuss this matter. Una, kinakalap pa ‘yung mga reports (One of the reasons why we visited the family in Bacolor, to discuss the matter. First, the reports are still being gathered), the police report, the forensic reports, to establish the events which occurred with respect to Marjori and Jenny,” Cacdac said.

He assured that the DMW hired a lawyer to look into the details of the deaths.

“Rest assured we will discuss this with the family once we gather all the information but at this stage, we still cannot render such a recommendation to the family as we await the reports on the matter,” Cacdac said. 

Marita Moaje (PNA)