Several overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) stranded in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia have been selling their blood and trading trash so that they can send money to their families in the Philippines.
In a story by one OFW pipefitter Rolando de Jesus, that was the only option they know so they can send money to their families. He related they would sell blood twice a month.
While he understands the risks of selling blood does to his health, he is more concerned about his family.
OFWs are able to sell their blood to hospitals for SAR 350 to 400 (PHP 4,400 to 5,029).
By evening, OFWs get ready to sort through garbage in the hopes of finding something they can eat. Because of this, OFWs call themselves “pagpag boys.”
Some OFWs work side by side to send food to the “pagpag boys”, of which they are grateful.
Mar Par, an OFW community leader in Jeddah, appealed for the immediate government assistance for the stranded Filipinos. The Duterte administration has already given PHP 20,000 to OFWs and an additional PHP 6,000 for their families.
While thankful for the assistance, OFWs said it wasn’t enough as the money will be used to pay off their debts, especially since they haven’t received any salary for five months.
The OFWs also sought for help to Concept, the agency who has deployed them to Saudi Arabia. However, they haven’t lost hope after the visit of officers from the Department of Labor and Employment, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, and Philippine Overseas Employment Administration.
They are also hoping that they will be able to go home soon.
Source : ABS-CBN