MANILA, March 8 – Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III yesterday directed the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Qatar to immediately extend assistance to the 300 overseas Filipino workers affected by a fire, Friday, that razed the UCC Labor Camp of the Elegancia Hospitality Group in Al-Shehaniya, about 33 kilometers north of Doha.
Acting on reports on the incident, Bello immediately instructed the POLO team led by Labor Attaché David Des Dicang to provide prompt assistance to the OFWs, monitor their conditions, and ensure that they will be able to normally return to their work.
In his report to Bello, Dicang said the fire displaced more than 300 Filipino workers who are mostly employed as cleaners and tea boys. They reportedly lost their personal belongings from the fire.
Dicang also reported that there are no casualties in the incident but a certain Sherwin Manlapaz suffered injuries in his lower leg but has already undergone treatment.
The affected OFWs were said to be staying in the accommodation area when the fire burned down the three-story accommodation building. According to the authorities, the cause of fire is still being investigated. It was declared under control at around 7:00 p.m. Qatar time on Friday.
The POLO-OWWA and the Embassy team composed of the DSWD and the Assistance to Nationals (ATN) section, which coordinates requests for assistance, joined the Filipino community groups in Qatar in bringing emergency aid, such as clothing, food, water, and medicines to the affected OFWS. (DOLE)