It was indeed a very Merry Christmas for some lucky Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) as they received P10,000 cash and some goodies.
The Department of Labor (DOLE) and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) who organized the yearly “Pamaskong Handog sa OFWs” handed the cash and goodies to 30 lucky OFWs as their planes landed at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III distributed the cash bonanza to the first batch of 15 winners from Riyadh while the second batch of 15 OFWs was from Singapore and was on board twin-engine Jetstar Asia airlines.
The P10,000 for each of the 30 OFWs came from President Rodrigo Duterte as a way of expressing his gratitude to these modern-day heroes. The country has received $30 billion or P1.6 trillion remittance from OFWs across the globe this year. Secretary Bello salutes the sacrifices that they are making for their family and country, saying, “Kayo ang maga tunay na bayani ng bansa.”
The 30 lucky winners were chosen electronically from a passenger manifest. Maureen Chan, a nurse from Riyadh, could not contain her excitement and gratitude when a folder with the cash inside was handed to her. She only had $200 with her and because of this cash bonanza, she can now buy some gifts for her family as well as book a return plane ticket. “Salamat sa Diyos nagkapera ako!”, she cried excitedly.
Other recipients include Loy Jane Mil of Samar, Mary Jane Dalwag of North Cotobato, Samuel Casulla of Mandaluyong, Mary Ann Belleza of Bacolod, Ronel Oriendo of Quezon Province, Michael Ricamara of Batangas, Honey Beth Lorejo of Sorsogon, Alain Salcedo of Dumaguete, Anthony Banda of Pandacan, Pauloi Bisa of Cavite, Ana Linda Agduma of Sultan Kudarat, Eliza Luzan of Pangasinan, Elsa Molina of Ilocos Sur and Dannie Lincat of Olongapo.
Some 800 OFWs who arrived at NAIA also received gift packages and were treated to free ice cream.