MIAA, OWWA heads meet for better coordination over discovered bullets
Manila International Airport Administration (MIAA) general manager Jose Angel Honrado and officials from the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) met Friday to discuss better coordination for when bullets are found in the luggage of overseas Filipino workers.
According to a report on GMA 7 news program “24 Oras”, the OWWA wanted to make sure they would be promptly informed should an incident take place.
"Baka maging traumatic experience din sa 'yan para sa kanila (OFWs), kaya naman ang OWWA, gusto namin mag-offer ng psychosocial at legal counseling sa kanila," OWWA OIC Carmelina Velasquez told GMA News.
Honrado, for his part, was receptive to the OWWA's request.
The meeting took place after Gloria Ortinez, a domestic worker in Hong Kong for the past 20 years, was arrested at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport last month when a bullet was found in her luggage as she was leaving to go back to work.
Ortinez, 65, claimed the bullet was not hers and that somebody planted it in her bag. She is still facing investigation over the incident.
The OWWA, meanwhile, had not been promptly informed of the arrest.
The OWWA has since amended its pre-departure orientation, which now includes a reminder to OFWs that bringing bullets to airports is prohibited by law. The reminder will also be included the handbook issued to OFWs.
"We really have to intensify our information campaign... para bago sila umalis, alam nila kung ano ang dapat ingatan," Velasquez said. "Hindi nila alam kasi na bawal 'yon, saka naman 'yung iba talaga, 'di naman live bullets [kundi] basyo [ng bala]." — Rose-An Jessica Dioquino, DVM, GMA News