THE recent decision of the Duterte Administration thru the Secretary of Labor and Employment to ban deployment of Filipino overseas workers to Kuwait has sent jitters to our OFWs working in that country to support their families here in the Philippines. The total ban was imposed by Secretary Silvestre Bello III as a consequence of the discovery of the remains of Filipina domestic helper Joanna Demafelis kept inside a freezer at an abandoned apartment in Kuwait. Reportedly, Demafelis has been missing since September 2016. She reportedly left the Philippines to work in Kuwait in 2014. Reports are that there are other Filipino domestic helpers in Kuwait whose whereabouts are unknown. In a live testimony during the Senate hearing the other night, Secretary Bello appeared firm in his decision as he stressed that the ban shall continue until the Philippines gets an assurance from the Kuwait government that Filipino overseas workers there are treated fairly and with justice. Our OFWs may find the ban quite harsh as it affects their livelihood and that of their families. In my opinion, it is the right decision to make. In the meantime, during the same Senate hearing, Senator Cynthia Villar said that there are available works open in their development projects for the OFWs who were repatriated to the Philippines from Kuwait.
The DENR crackdown on environmental degradation in Boracay by some resort owners is timely if we have to preserve Boracay as the number one tourist destination in the country. Reports are that President Rodrigo Duterte has called Boracay a “cesspool” and allegedly “threatened to close it down in six months if the sewerage and garbage problems were not addressed.” On several occasions, my family and some friends were in Boracay and the white pristine beach and the clear blue sea are something to enjoy.
Through this column, and in my own behalf and that of my spouse Minda, I wish to sincerely express our condolence to Rose and her bereaved family for the demise of Rose’s spouse Romy Gardoce of Los Angeles, California. Rose is a cousin of my spouse Minda and whenever we are in Los Angeles, Romy always saw to it that we have dinner-fellowship at their residence together with Mits San Jose and other Bicolano members of the Association of Bicolano Residents of L.A. Rose and Romy Gardoce were here in Naga for a visit about three years ago.
Welcome to spouses Totoy and Cora Reorizo also of Los Angeles, Calif., who will be arriving in Naga this coming Friday for a visit and for the observance of the Holy Week this coming March.
Congratulations to my AdeNU high school class ‘54 batch mates Tim Borromeo and Pomping Requinta who will be celebrating their Nth birthday anniversary this coming February 23 with a luncheon-fellowship at Bob Marlin Reto-Bar. Let’s roll out the barrel, guys!
QUOTATION OF THE WEEK:
“HE WHO GIVES WHAT HE WOULD READILY THROW AWAY, GIVES WITHOUT GENEROSITY; FOR THE ESSENCE OF GENEROSITY IS IN SELF-SACRIFICE.”
FOR OUR WORD OF LIFE:
“I GIVE YOU A NEW COMMANDMENT: LOVE ONE ANOTHER; YOU MUST LOVE ONE ANOTHER JUST AS I HAVE LOVED YOU.”