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Expats join OFWs in raising $20k aid for dismissed cancer patient

18 October 2021

By Vir B. Lumicao 

The patient (left) receives $15k cash donation from Palma of Social Justice

A cancer-stricken Filipina domestic helper who was dismissed by her employer 10 days after she was taken to hospital for excessive bleeding, has received more than $20,000 in cash donations from an array of supporters, including western expatriates.

A big chunk of the money totaling $15,000 came from donors who responded to her appeal for help in a story published by The SUN and re-posted on the Facebook page of Hong Kong Moms, as well as fellow Filipino migrants.

Officers of the Social Justice for Migrant Workers which collected the donated money, turned it over to C.Z.F. in a meeting in Central on Sunday morning, Oct 17. It was the group which brought the case to this publication’s attention.

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Group founder Marites Palma said the fund came from OFWs and Western families who were moved by The SUN’s report, which one of her friends shared on the expatriate community group’s webpage.

“Somebody shared the report on the Hong Kong Moms page so the group contacted me and transferred money to the account of my group’s treasurer,” said Palma.

She sent The SUN a screenshot of the acknowledgement she sent via FB Messenger to Hong Kong Moms with various amounts totaling $9,300 that were deposited in the account of the SJMW treasurer.



The rest came from various OFWs who sent their donation through online payment services, such as Alipay and WeChat.

The sick worker was emotional as she thanked the group’s officers, hugging each of them tightly and crying. She said she will never forget their kindness.

Apart from asking for financial help on her behalf, Palma found the patient a place to stay


C.Z.F. said another OFW support group donated $3,000 but wanted to stay anonymous. Other fellow OFWs sent her fruits and cookies.

On top of all these, Welfare Attache Virsie Tamayao handed the worker $2,500 cash, part of which was her personal donation.

Tamayao also reportedly told her that an anonymous donor who wanted to buy her return air ticket to her hometown of Iloilo City had decided to just give her the cash equivalent of the ticket money.

OWWA's Tamayao also gave $2,500 cash to the patient, which partly came from her own pocket 

Later today, another officer at the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration helped book the ticket for the patient for her flight home on Saturday.

Tamayao said wheelchair assistance has been arranged for the patient at Hong Kong International Airport. On her arrival in Manila, an OWWA staff member will help her through the airport formalities.

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An OWWA shuttle will then take her to Sofitel Hotel on Roxas Blvd, where she will be monitored by a doctor during her quarantine.

The OWWA chief said C.Z.F has been endorsed as a medical case, meaning she could be eligible for the welfare assistance program worth a maximum of Php30,000.

“As she is not going to work abroad anymore, we also endorsed her for the Balik-Pinas, Balik-Hanapbuhay livelihood assistance program worth Php20,000,” said Tamayao.

The 40-year-old sick worker appealed for help when she was dismissed by her Chinese employer of just two months after learning that she was sick.

She said she moved in with her employer on Jun 21, but on Aug 24, or shortly after two months, she suffered excessive bleeding and had to go to hospital. She received notice of her termination on Sept 3.

She received more than $8,000 in separation pay, but spent much of it getting follow-up treatment as she could no longer avail of subsidized medical care without an employment visa.

When she sought help from the Labour Department she was reportedly told she could not go after her employer as she had no more sick leave left when she was fired.
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