ILOILO – The 24/7 inter-agencyhelpdesk of the provincial government successfully facilitated the repatriationof an Ilonggo overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) from Qatar. Both work as household workers and arevictims of illegal recruitment. Their relatives sought assistance of thehelpdesk on Jan. 14. The Operation Bulig Ilonggo help deskwas launched on January 10 to cater to distressed Ilonggo OFWs and theirfamilies who are affected by the Iran-US tensions. Two more Ilonggo OFWs based in Lebanonare waiting for their schedule to return home. They are from San Miguel townand Mandurriao in Iloilo City. The household worker, whose name isbeing kept confidential, returned to the country on Jan. 17. She is from themunicipality of Santa Barbara. As of Jan. 20, 16 cases were cateredand referred to the Embassy. Arroyo clarified that the cases are not directlyrelated to the tensions but mostly concern maltreatment and health issues. It offers the following services:referral of requests for assistance (e.g. repatriation, communication); updateson the status and whereabouts of distressed OFWs in Middle East; andinternational calls and video calls. Overseas Workers WelfareAdministration (OWWA) welfare case officer Jack Arroyo said the OFW was avictim of maltreatment by her employer. OWWA assured that they have jobintegration programs for returning OFWs. “We requested the Philippine Embassyto intervene in bringing her home. It was her agency who processed therepatriation,” Arroyo said. Arroyo said they immediately referredthe cases to the Philippine Embassy. For inquiries, contact the helpdeskthru landline 320-3975 and e-mail address: [email protected] (LHC, Capitol News/PN) “Lebanon OFWs are being repatriated inbatches so I think the two is part of the second or third batch,” he said.