18 August 2007 Riyadh, Saudi Arabia– Basketball referees are not as famous as the basketball players yet they too run several miles in court supervising the game and administer its rules.
But for Siglakas Group of Referees (SGR) their run continues and it even reaches Bahay Kalinga.
The Filipino Workers Resource Center (FWRC), known as Bahay Kalinga or Paglingap Mangagawa was established under Republic Act 8042, known as Migrant Workers Act of 1995 intended as shelter for our distressed and run away female Overseas Filipino Workers.
Siglakas Group of Referees whose members are Professional Basketball Referees are hired for a fee per basketball game. The group however, set aside 10% of their earnings for charitable purposes. The fund collected was converted into assorted grocery items and were distributed to our less fortunate female OFWs at Bahay Kalinga last Friday 17 of August 2007.
Female distressed OFWs are housed at BK pending resolution of their complaint such as: maltreatment and abuse, sexual harassment and non payment of wages. Most of them are Female Household Service Workers. There are 106 female OFWs at the center as of to date and luckily some of them are waiting for air tickets to be finally send back home.
“Lending a hand to those in needs is a fulfillment, the feeling is very different” said Gerry Espinosa, the current President of SGR. “The 10% basket funds collected among the members of the group are mainly intended for charitable purposes” he added.
Siglakas Group of Referees was formed a year ago and the most sought professional basketball referees hired by fellow Filipinos in Riyadh in their Inter Company Basketball Tournaments. Filipinos employed at Saudi Oger Co. Ltd. and companies located at Industrial areas in Riyadh frequently hired their services.
Ricky Arellano, officer of the group said “The fees for our services is another form of blessing from God, we should share this blessings to others in needs and future donations will continue as long as there are Basketball activities within the Filipino Community”.
Welfare Officer Abdulghani “Jimmy” Umag, administrator of the Filipino Wrokers Resource Center was thankful of the group donations.
The Philippine Government is providing the needs at Bahay Kalinga but they accept donations from Filipino Community more particularly personal items to be used daily by our stranded female OFWs.
Labor Attache Resty Dela Fuente who personally acknowledged the group donations however said “we are not soliciting any form of donations from the Filipino Community but if the good deed was given wholeheartedly from any Filipino groups, they are most welcome and we are very grateful for that”.
The group noble act was coordinated with Bong Amora and Reynaldo Ruiz of the Kalipunang Kaakabay ng Mangagawang Pilipino sa Ibayong Dagat (KAKAMPI-KSA) based in the 3rd Industrial Area-Riyadh who witnessed the turnover of the donated grocery items. – BongA