Remains of 3 OFWs who died in Kuwait fire to be repatriated soon

By Marita Moaje

June 14, 2024, 8:36 pm

<p><em>(PNA file photo)</em></p>

(PNA file photo)

MANILA – The Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) is working on the repatriation of the remains of three overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who died in a fire that razed a residential building in al-Mangaf, Kuwait early Wednesday.

“Kumpiyansa ako na sa lalong madaling panahon, maybe as early as this coming week, pauwi na yung labi ng tatlo (I am confident that soon, maybe as early as this coming week, the remains of the three would be repatriated). We are in touch and we have communicated with the families of all three,” Migrant Workers Secretary Hans Leo Cacdac said in a virtual briefing on Friday.

Cacdac said the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) is closely monitoring the situation of the two other OFWs who are in critical condition in the hospital.

“Sa ngayon, we are still monitoring the situation through their medical authorities. Perhaps as a measure of hope, critical, yes, pero wala naman tayong natanggap na ulat na lumalala (Right now, we are still monitoring the situation through their medical authorities. Perhaps, as a measure of hope, they are critical but we have not received any report that their situation is worsening),” he said.

“With respect to the families, we have communicated with the families, especially of those in the ICU (intensive care unit) and the families of the deceased. I, myself, have spoken to some of the families over the phone and assured them (of government help), in line with the directives of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. to handhold OFW families through difficult times in a situation such as this.”

Cacdac said the six OFWs who are safe will also be repatriated.

Meanwhile, the Philippine government has reached out to the Kuwaiti Embassy in Manila, and Philippine Ambassador to Kuwait Jose Cabrera III has also reached out and coordinated with his Kuwaiti counterpart, he said.

“The Kuwaiti government has assured us of utmost assistance,” Cacdac said. “We have received positive indications that they will provide the necessary assistance and that's over and above the entitlements, the assistance from the company, the employer, as well as, with the respect (for) the deceased, the proceeds from life insurance.”

The DMW has also directed its legal retainers in Kuwait to secure a copy of the findings of the investigation being done by the Kuwaiti fire authorities and look into the possibility of taking legal action.

"We need to await the results of the investigation, the findings of the Kuwaiti authorities. It's hard to second guess or preempt but rest assured we will look toward getting a copy immediately of the findings, and we have given instructions to our lawyers to take the necessary action based on the content of that findings or report on the Kuwaiti side, especially if it finds possible legal liability," Cacdac said. (PNA)