Heartfelt congratulations on your selection by Time Magazine as the 2nd most influential person in the world in 2012 in a list of 100. You do me and my family so proud as Filipinos.
Mr. President I wish that you can directly act on the problems of the 3000 stranded OFWs including children in KSA now staying in make-shift tents in virtually boiling temperatures.
Ambassador Ezziden Tago and his staff are among the best of our foreign service officers but their present staff just could not cope with the magnitude of the problem.
The law (Sec. 27, RA 8042) says that the “highest priority concern” of the Secretary of Foreign Affairs and the Ambassadors is the protection and welfare of Filipinos overseas. I don’t see this to be the case right now insofar as the 3000 distressed OFWs are concerned. Mr. President may i recommend the following:
1. Invite the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the Palace and request him to make representations with King Abdullah to allow the stranded OFWs to stay in their air-conditioned sports stadium;
2. Instruct our Ambassadors in the UAE, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Iran, to proceed to KSA immediately to assist Ambassador Tago;
3. Release a substantial amount from your calamity fund to defray the cost of the repatriation of the stranded OFWs; Needless to say, this is a calamity;
4. Request fellow ASEAN countries to urge their flag carriers to provide free air tickets to the stranded Filipinos to Manila and by way of reciprocity, provide the same privilege to fellow ASEAN citizens on Philippine flag carriers who may be encountering the same problems in the KSA;
5. Gather the familes in the regions in the Philippines of the 3000 in KSA and give them appropriate psychological counseling, financial assistance on account of the sudden job dislocations of their breadwinners, and other forms of assistance.
Be on top of the situation Mr. President after all, you are the Commander-in-Chief of the 10 million army of OFWs who are waging the war against poverty in the Philippines albeit in various war zones overseas. Just like any army and just like any kind of war, there are casualties. The 3000 in KSA and their families in the Philippines are casualties Sir. They need to be urgently attended to under your personal orchestration Sir.