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OWWA officer set to leave HK

08 May 2018

By Vir B. Lumicao

Welfare officer Judith Santos
Welfare officer Judith Santos of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration - Hong Kong will soon return home as her extended tour of duty is ending.

Santos told The SUN in an online message that her replacement, who she did not identify, will be arriving shortly to take over her post.

The departing welfare officer will be returning to the OWWA home office in Manila after serving in Hong Kong for nearly four years. Santos arrived here on May 15, 2014 and assumed her position two days later.

The officer said she had not yet received her airline ticket, so, she could not tell her departure date.

Santos said her recall is a decision of OWWA, an OFW welfare and insurance unit that is under the Department of Labor and Employment.

“It’s my time to go because my tour of duty ended last year but I was extended for nearly a year,” said Santos.

She considers her posting in Hong Kong, her first assignment abroad, as a learning process as it allowed her to get to know OFWs better through dealing with them daily.

“Siguro po mas naintindihan ko yun iba-ibang mukha ng OFW (and the) struggles and success stories ng iba,” Santos said.

Santos has had the rare opportunity of serving three labor attaches during her stint at the Philippine Overseas Labor Office, an extension of the Consulate that deals with overseas Filipino workers and all issues related to them.

When Santos arrived in Hong Kong, the incumbent labor attache was Manuel Roldan, who was recalled home after being investigated for malpractice on orders by then Consul General  Bernardita Catalla.

Roldan was replaced by Nenita Garcia, who ended her tour of duty prematurely because of poor health. Labor Attache Jalilo dela Torre took over from Garcia, but was recalled to the Home Office on Mar 26 for alleged corruption, a move that prompted widespread protests by members of the Filipino community.
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