MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine government has stepped in to address the predicament of thousands of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who were unable to fly home for Christmas after their travel agency failed to confirm their bookings.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said on Friday the government have already approved the plan to shoulder the travel expenses of around 1,000 OFWs stranded in Hong Kong with the assistance of the DFA and DOLE through the Office of Migrant Workers Affairs and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).
“Our kababayans in Hong Kong and other parts of the world have a very special place in President Duterte’s heart and it is just right that we make their Christmas wishes come true by doing what we can to bring them home,” said Cayetano.
According to Cayetano, the Filipino workers will be asked to sign an undertaking for the ticket refund from the travel agency accused of defrauding the OFWs.
Additionally, the DFA also ordered that criminal charges be filed against PEYA Travel, a Filipino-owned agency involved in the scam.
“We also will pursue a civil suit against PEYA Travel to compensate our kababayans for the damages they suffered,” said Cayetano.
In the meantime, the round trip tickets of all affected migrant workers will be shouldered by OWWA and the Office of Migrant Workers Affairs.