OFW reunites with family, thanks to generous donations
After two decades of not seeing his family in the Philippines, an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) who worked as a bus driver in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) finally returned to the Philippines after compassionate UAE residents rescued him from his financial problems.
Bernardo Basco Ocampo, 60, was unable to visit his aging mother and children due to financial restraints. After his story was published in Emirati news site 24/7 last February, some readers, social workers, the Philippine Consulate in Dubai, and an Emirati ‘good samaritan’ went to work to help the financially strapped Ocampo.
A jovial Ocampo thanked the benevolent residents who made his dream a reality. “When I called up my mother to share the good news, she was weeping. I am thankful to the good people in Dubai and the UAE for helping me go back to my hometown. I love Dubai and it is a kind and generous city,” he said in an interview with the local news site.
On April 17 (Sunday), he was finally reunited with his mother Virginia, 80, a resident of Pampanga, after 20 years.
Ocampo’s fines piled up to 40,000 dirhams (PhP 507,000) after he was sued by his employer for not paying his dues. He was briefly detained but was released on condition he would eventually pay his fines. Since then, he continued to stay in the Kingdom for 12 years and worked in different jobs to sustain his family’s growing needs.
The OFW finally retrieved his expired passport from a court in Dubai and was able to claim his outpass from the Philippine Consulate.
“My last legal status here was as a driving instructor. My employer promised me a salary of 10,000 dirhams (126,000 PHP) per month, but the income was not regular,” he explained in an interview with 24/7.
Ocampo’s children were still young when he left for UAE in 1996. His youngest daughter is now 24 years old. Gianna Francesca Catolico, INQUIRER.net
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