Friday, 19 October 2007


I tried to email this letter to the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration(OWWA)in Milan Italy 2 days ago and resend it again this morning:

To Whom This May Concern:

A pleasant day to all.

I'm a Filipina housewife who lives and blogs here in Venice Italy. In one of my blog entries, a reader asked a question concerning the benefits and services an OWWA member would be entitled to in case of death.

My cousin Sony P. Jacinto is a certified OWWA member who works at Harry's Bar in Venice. He had been been working here in Italy with legal documents for almost 9 years now. Last October 7, 2007, he went home to the Philippines together with her sister to attend their mother's wake. A day after they buried their mother, October 7, 2007, Sony died in his sleep and was pronounced DOA when they took him to the hospital. Please read more of the story HERE:

I went over to your website here: OWWA and I would like to know more on how your program will be of help to my cousin's case. What are the compensations and help his family will avail of from your office? Would it be better if her sister, who also works here in Venice, do the processing of papers needed, here in Italy? Your suggestions and advice would be very appreciated.

I will be blogging about this on my website and any supporting datas and informations from your office would be of much help in educating OFW 'kababayans' regarding this matter.

If its not much to ask, could you please participate in the discussions found at the comment section
and answer the questions posted about the OWWA's rule in giving what's due to it's members. You will be helping so many Filipino Overseas Workers in giving transparency to how your office will extend their help when it is needed by the members. It would also encourage us to have faith on what we could get back from our government who calls us - 'Bagong Bayani'.

Thank you very much and I will be expecting for your reply as soon as possible.

God bless and good health.

Respectfully yours,

Venice Italy

I didn't have luck for a reply so I tried to contact the number I got from their site. The answering machine tells me its an unexciting phone number so I called Ate Billy(know more about her on my next blog). She then gave me the new number of the Philippine Consulate in Milan. So I called. A lady answered and immediately gave OWWA's number and I asked her: "If I won't be able to contact this number, may I call you back?". Maybe she didn't hear me because hang up tone answered my last question.

She gave me a wrong number so I called her back and spoke 'Tagalog'(Filipino) this time. I told her, "Ako po yung tumawag kanina e mali naman po yung number na binigay ninyo"(I was the one who phoned up a while ago and you had given me a wrong number). She answered, " Ay hindi ako yung nakausap mo!". Then I related the purpose of my call and she immediately connected me directcly to OWWA's office.

Finally, Ma'am Welof Emma V. Sinclair from OWWA told me about the ff:

1. A member is covered with 100,000 pesos insurance for natural death and 200,000 pesos for accidental death.

2. 20,000 pesos for the burial expenses.

3. OWWA will be responsible for the dead body's repatriation.

4. Documentary Requirements for Life Insurance Benefits here: OWWA

5. OWWA Membership pay is renewable every two years. *According to Ate Billy: If unable to pay and renew on the said time, there is no chance that the repatriation of the human remain will be shouldered by OWWA. Speaking through experience when she helped a certain 'kababayan' who died here in Venice.

6. File documents needed and ask further info from the OWWA Region 1 office in Baguio City.

The lady from OWWA was a bit hesitant when I asked her name to be quoted as my source for this blog and she said, "Naku!..." but gave her name anyway. I told her I sent them 2 e-mails and their contact numbers are not available and she later said that their website is old and not yet updated.

Later today I have learned from our friend Myrma that my cousin Sony got his 'Carta Soggiorno'(permanent residency)recently and will not be covered with OWWA's benefits and services.


Bill Bilig

Great stuff you did here. I'm so happy reading it. Iyan ang blogger activism hehe. Siguro if more OFWs do this, the OWWA will be much more transparent and much more responsive to OFW concerns.

That was a great letter to. Very respectful but also very clear about what you want. I'm not surprised though about the non-response hehe. Ganoon yata mga government emails; they put it there to say that you can contact them but they ignore you anyway. Thanks.


Having a ran around just talking to those OWWA people alone to get a mere concrete rules is enough to drive us to the walls! How much more if your cousin died in Italy?
Looking back, sad as it was, it was really nice of him to go home to forever rest and spared the despicable attitudes of our government as the case of Jocelyn.
I would suggest that all of you in Venice need to have a fun gathering in the park and informally discuss all the what ifs and prepare you all for those unfortunate things in the future.
Cheers to you all and goodhealth.


Ciao Bill,

I almost miss your comment. Ay apo talaga aya ti mothering around, you forget a lot of things.

Why put it there when it can't work enya? I just don't know, I think the letter reached them but maybe they thought its a spammer. Huh? Spammer when the content is...don't need to elaborate!

Ciao TruBlue,

Yan din sabi namin. Though losing him is that painful, its like he died home to spare us from chaotic transactions from agencies concern.

Boogs has an article at SunStar on Sony. It also tells the story of many hardworking Filipinos all over the world.


Pahabol Trublue.

We've got more than 2 Filipino organizations here. They've got projects every now and then but sad to say, nu masapawan di isa, tendency is manipatakder abe san isa si organisasyun na.

Igorot group kuma ngem, just our family met consisting of 10 only including four kids.

There was this Pinoy TNT who died from heart attack here and Pinoys pass the hat just to help the body be brought home. It was 5,000 euros back then. I heard its 7,000 euros now. If my cousin died here, OWWA will not help cause Sony just had his permanent residency..

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