Homecoming for Alfred Salmos set; family conveys thanks to FB users
Two years after suffering severe burns due to electrocution, overseas Filipino worker Alfredo Salmos is finally arriving home.
The 52-year old electrician from Nueva Ecija conveyed his gratitude to all Facebook users who wrote about his plight, uploaded videos about him on their page, and exerted pressure through social media for the government to help bring him home. The OFW suffered electrocution when he was shutting down a 14,000-volts breaker in February 2010 and was comatose for one month. An Indonesian couple has been caring for him since then. It was only recently, when his video and photo became viral, that help started to pour in, and arrangements to bring him home gained traction.
OFW advocate Susan Ople, who has been assisting the family in arranging for Alfred’s homecoming, said that the outpouring of concern from Filipino Facebook users and social media enthusiasts around the world signify a sea-change in how social media directly impacts on cases of distressed OFWs.
“The outpouring of support for Alfred Salmos demonstrates the power of Facebook as a platform for OFW assistance and empowerment,” Ople noted.
During this morning’s Tinapayan media forum in Manila, Alfred’s younger sister, Epifania Salmos Colina gave special thanks to the first Facebook user who posted Salmos’s photo and wrote about his plight. “Gusto ko man banggitin ang pangalan ay baka may mga makaligtaan ako kaya sa tamang oras na lamang po namin babanggitin lahat lahat ng dapat pasalamatan,” Epifania said.
Herself a former OFW, Alfred’s younger sister said that the family’s immediate priority is to give him time to rest and have private moments with his mother and siblings as well as to ensure that his medical needs are attended to. The last time that Alfred saw his mother was seven years ago during a brief vacation in the country.
“Sa amin po titira si Kuya at aalagan namin siya ng husto. Maraming salamat sa lahat ng mga tumulong at gustong tumulong sa kanya,” Colina said. (“My brother will stay with us and we will take good care of him. We would like to thank all those who helped him and who’d like to help him.”)
Alfred’s sister also acknowledged the assistance of the Overseas Workers’ Welfare Administration, the Villar Foundation and the Office of Senator Aquilino Pimentel III.
Senator Manny Villar and the Villar Foundation headed by his wife, former congresswoman Cynthia Villar, pledged to help with the medical expenses and livelihood assistance while Atty. Gwen Pimentel-Gana, chief of staff of the Office of Senator Koko Pimentel offered to coordinate with the Philippine General Hospital for the OFW’s medical treatment.
Previously, Alfred’s sister was also a beneficiary of the Villar Foundation’s Sagip OFW program when she availed of a free ticket home after running away from her abusive employer in Dammam, Saudi Arabia.
OWWA Administrator Carmelita Dimzon had earlier assured the Salmos family that Alfred would receive his full disability benefits as OWWA member as well as livelihood assistance. The OWWA official has also directed her staff to provide airport and transportation assistance to Salmos.
Ople appealed in behalf of the Salmos family: “I hope that we can all welcome Alfred Salmos home as a brother who suffered enormous physical and emotional pain while in Saudi Arabia. He deserves a warm, friendly, and dignified welcome after everything that he had to endure mostly by himself in Saudi Arabia.”
OFWs in Jeddah gather and donate to Alfredo Salmos
The NGO noted that Saudi Prince Mishaal bin Abdulaziz al Saud was instrumental in the waiver of fees accruing from the time Alfred’s car was impounded due to a car accident in 1998.
OFWs in Jeddah gather and donate to Alfredo Salmos
OFWs Romy Carbonel, Frank Resma, Joseph Espiritu and volunteers of Patnubay Riyadh among several others, assisted Alfred in sending a personal letter in Arabic addressed to the Office of the Governor of Jeddah to waive the accumulated fees that barred him from leaving Saudi Arabia. Jeddah-based OFW blogger Jebee Kenji Solis also helped out in gathering donations from fellow OFW bloggers throughout the world. Other NGOs, Facebook users, and Saudi-based OFWs have been helping Alfred Salmos in coordination with the family and the Philippine Consulate.
In his appeal to Prince al Saud, Alfred Salmos wrote:“Your Royal Highness, I believe that you are fair regardless of race, color or creed. Please send me home to my country. I want to see my family. I haven't seen them for quite a long time. In the Philippines I have a family who can take care of me. Please tell the Moroor to clear any penalty for my car registration and to consider my physical condition for humanitarian considerations.”
The Prince granted the plea of Alfred Salmos, all fees were waived, and in a matter of days, the OFW most featured in the pages of Pinoy Facebook users around the world, shall soon be home.
For those who wish to help OFW Alfred Salmos, please get in touch with the Blas F. Ople Center via 833-5337/833-9562 for coordination purposes. Donations can be channelled to the bank account set up by Alfred’s sister: Epifania Reem S. Colina, BPI Carmen West Rosales Pangasinan #0639-0859-29.
This is a repost from PEBA 2011 NGO Partner, Patnubay Online Blog Post.
Patnubay Mission : To Clear the Car Registration Records of OFW Salmos and Send him Home.
Once again napatunayan natin na ang kakulangan sa kaalaman ang dahilan ng mga problema ng mga OFWs. Ang puno’t dulo ng problemang ito ay yong hindi alam ni Mr. salmos na dapat iclear ang sasakyan kahit na-impound na. At ang kakulangan sa kaalaman naman ng karamihan, maging sa ating mga tauhan ng ating konsulada, sa proceso kung papano resolbahin ang mga ganitong kaso. Sa tulongan natin napatunayan ni Mr. Salmos na napakadali lang pala ng kanyang problema na kung alam nya lang na ganito lang pala ang gagawin ay noon pa sana sya nakauwi.
Maiintindihan natin kung kulang sa kaalaman si Mr. Salmos sa proceso dahil hindi naman sya katulad sa atin na kabisado ang mga batas at proceso dito.. Pero ang hirap tanggapin na walang alam ang ating consulada sa pagresolba ng mga simpleng problemang katulad nito na nailapit sa kanila last October 2011 pa. Or talagang sadya bang pinatagal or mga tamad lamang or wala sa puso ang pagtulong at nakalimutan ang pinanumpaang tungkulin na dapat tulongan tayong mga OFWs.
In all fairness to Congen Garibay, I have strong hope sa kanya na mapabago nya ang mga ugali ng mga tauhan ng ating consulada. Ang kaso ni Mr. Salmos ay napakasimple lamang kung tutuusin.
PEBA wishes to thank also other NGOs and all the donors and supporters from around the world who kindheartedly sent their donations via Paypal and by contributions so Mang Fred will have the means na mapagamot ang kanyang mga burns. We are hoping more people will extend help, and OWWA and POEA and other agencies will assist him when he gets home.
Alfredo Salmos, 52, an overseas Filipino worker in Jeddah Saudi Arabia is appealing for help after he was accidentally electrocuted about two years ago in his work. According to Salmos, he was sucked into a 14,000 volts breaker that he was trying to shut down.
PEBA Worldwide launched a Project Salmos to appeal for global support and monetary donations with the consolidated efforts of the different organizations in bringing home our brother, our kabayan, ALFREDO ‘Mang Fred’ SALMOS.
PEBA's Kenji along with ABS-CBN Correspondent Frank Resma, and Marlene of Lakambini Group, Roy and Aaron of Elite Guardians, and Patnubay Riyadh and the owner of La Parilla Restaurant in a roundtable meeting to help Mang Alfredo Salmos.
PEBA has been engage in several project before, Project Twitch, Project Nealshai, and now we are starting Project Salmos. There are many, oh so many good people working behind the scene for Mang Alfred.
We are activating our contacts from 56 countries and territories and asking to solicit donation and engage causes to help this Kabayan. If you wish to be a part of PEBA's Global effort to help, please message us using the FB message above.
We will consolidate all donations into one account, preferably in a foundation. We hope you will share and reach out to others and hope to touch their heart as well.
The Social Security System (SSS) collected a total of P2.17 billion in contributions of overseas Filipino workers last year, which was 17 percent higher than its P1.85 billion OFW collection in 2010, a top official said.
SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Emilio de Quiros, Jr. said social security coverage of overseas workers is among the SSS’ top priorities, adding that it plans to reach out to more OFWs through additional foreign offices and expansion of e-payment and online services.
"The SSS posted a double-digit growth in OFW collection for the third straight year. It reflects the growing awareness among overseas workers of the importance of active SSS membership and saving for retirement and other contingencies," he said.
The SSS has over 738,000 OFW members at present, which it aims to expand through tie ups with key agencies handling deployment of migrant workers such as the Department of Labor and Employment and Philippine Overseas Employment Administration.
"OFWs are usually excluded from social protection programs in their country of employment, even if many of them work in high-risk environments and are considered family breadwinners. This further highlights the value of SSS," de Quiros said.
Among SSS’ programs for OFWs for 2011 is the Member-Get-Member promo, which offers monthly raffle prizes from January to June and a travel package for two in the Grand Draw in September for successful referral of fellow overseas workers to become active members.
"More than 1,900 OFWs so far have registered through SSS branches and foreign offices, as well as via the SSS website at www.sss.gov.ph. One active participant has referred as many as 109 OFWs at present, and we are only in the third month of the promo," he said.
Nine OFWs won P10,000 each during the second monthly draw, which was held at the SSS main office in Quezon City on March 30. The winners for Asia, who are all deployed in Hong Kong, were Maria Riza Santander Wabinga, Salvacion Estaras Espaldon and Arceli Tirol Belen.
The Middle East winners include Pensees Dawny Rodriguez Figueroa and Annie Jean Iran Alcala from Abu Dhabi, and Elizabeth Bucad Fernandez from Bahrain. Amalia Bunag Aquino and Aniana Arellano Dela Rosa, who are both working in London, and Christopher Lechuga Alavado from Rome rounded up the list of winners from Europe.
Wabinga and Figueroa won for the second straight month in their respective regions due to their high number of referrals or "nominees". The next MGM monthly raffle draw will be on April 30.
The SSS is also working on bilateral social security agreements between the Philippines and the countries of Australia, China, Cyprus, Germany and Sweden. It wrapped up negotiations with Denmark and Portugal in 2011 and is preparing for initial talks with Japan this year.
SSS unveils winners of OFW raffle
Social Security System (SSS) President and Chief Executive Officer Emilio de Quiros, Jr. (3rd from left) drew a winning raffle entry during the 2nd monthly draw of the SSS "Member-Get-Member" (MGM) promo at the SSS main office in Quezon City on March 30.
Overseas Filipino workers can register for the promo until June 30 at SSS branches and foreign offices or online at www.sss.gov.ph. The winners of P10,000 each were Maria Riza Santander Wabinga, Salvacion Estaras Espaldon and Arceli Tirol Belen (Hong Kong); Pensees Dawny Rodriguez Figueroa and Annie Jean Iran Alcala (Abu Dhabi); Elizabeth Bucad Fernandez (Bahrain); Amalia Bunag Aquino and Aniana Arellano Dela Rosa (London); and Christopher Lechuga Alavado (Rome). Looking on were (from left) Pete Rahon of Pinoy Expats/OFW Blog Awards; Luther Calderon of the Kabalikat ng Migranteng Pilipino; and SSS officials Daniel Edralin, Antonette Fernandez and Judy See.
"By forging bilateral agreements with other nations, we also help overseas Filipinos become entitled to social security benefits comparable to those received by citizens of their host countries," de Quiros said.
Pensees Dawny Rodriguez Figueroa of Abu Dhabi, UAE is another repeat winners for the 2nd monthly draw.
Europe and the Rest of the World
1) Amalia Bunag Aquino - London, UK
2) Aniana Arellano dela Rosa - London, UK
3) Christopher Lechuga Alavado - Rome, Italy
Repeat winners are nominators who have recruited five or more new SSS members that entitles them of higher chances of winning and possibly getting the special award in the final draw in Septemvber. One of the winners in Asia Ms. Salvacion Estaras Espaldon was interviewed over the phone and it was found out that she only recruited one but was lucky enough to be drawn as winner.
Pretty Lady at the registration
Bilib Kami Sa'yo - SSS theme for their Member-get-Member Promo
Panel of Judges and audience for the 2nd Month Raffle Draw
Hon. Emilio S. De Quiros, Jr., President and CEO of SSS emphasizing the importance of making the lives of OFWs more secured and so they came up with the Member-get-Member promo.
Ms. Judy Frances A. See introducing the Board of Judges
Author: peterahon | Posted at: 2:43 AM | |0 comments
Nine OFWs get P10,000 each in SSS raffle
Nine overseas Filipino workers each won P10,000 as cash prize during 1st monthly raffle draw of the Social Security System’s (SSS) Member-Get-Member promo at the SSS corporate headquarters in Quezon City on February 29. OFWs can register for the promo at the agency’s local and foreign offices and through the SSS website (www.sss.gov.ph) until June 30. Photo shows Commissioner Daniel Edralin (3rd from left), head of the Social Security Commission’s Committee on OFWs, pick one of the winners with the help of SSS OFW Management Department Head Joy Villacorta (right). Also present were (from left) Pinoy Expats/OFW Blog Awards Luzon and Metro Manila Coordinator Pete Rahon, Kabalikat ng Migranteng Pilipino President Luther Calderon, SSS Assistant Vice President for Internal Audit Service Antonette Fernandez and SSS Senior Vice President for International Operations Judy See.
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The Pinoy Expats/OFW Blog Awards (PEBA), Inc. is a non-profit, non-stock organization of international Filipino Overseas Workers (OFW) and Bloggers located from different parts of the world & duly registered in Securities & Exchange Commission and Bureau of Internal Revenue. It has grown to have representative & liaison offices in the Middle East, South East Asia-Pacific, North America, Europe and North Africa.
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