TUGUEARAO CITY, Philippines- Family and relatives broke down in tears as they welcome the corpse of Melody Albano Castro, the overseas Filipino worker (OFW) from Cagayan who died in the 6.4 magnitude earthquake in Hualien City, Taiwan.
Castro’s remains arrived at the Tuguegarao City airport around 12 pm on Thursday, February 15. Her corpse, tightly sealed in a wooden casket, will be brought to her home in Barangay Banguian in Abulug, Cagayan.
Her body arrived in the Philippines on Wednesday, February 14, at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) via Chinese Airlines, and spent the night at a cargo house.
Castro was supposed to come home next month as her 3-year employment contract was set to expire. The family said the last time they have seen her alive was also three years ago.
Her father Nonilet Albano, 49, said she had been the family breadwinner since her husband’s accident.
She left her 6 year-old daughter Given Grace and her stroke-stricken husband.
Albano hopes the government would deliver to their promise to help and facilitate donations for the family.
On Thursday, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Deputy Executive Director Arnel Ignacio also arrived in Cagayan to formally turnover the government’s assistance to the family.
Ignacio handed over two checks: P200,000 for her death benefits, and P50,000 livelihood assistance. He added the the 6-year old daughter will also receive educational assistance yearly until she finishes her college degree.
Ignacio said he chose to personally hand over the assistance to let families of distressed OFWs that the efforts of OWWA in aiding them is “a personal thing.”
“Ayaw namin na maramdaman nila na parang napakalamig lang na pagbibigay. Ito’y may kasamang yakap, parang sinasabi natin na kung ano ang dinaranas mong sakit, ay nararamdaman namin ‘yan,” Ignacio told reporters.\
He added that they are now working with Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) on bringing home the belongings of Castro, as requested by the family.
In his interview with DWIZ 882, Taiwanese Ambassador to the Philippines Gary Song-Huann Lin said the Taiwan government is giving 1.69 million New Taiwan dollars to the family of Castro as financial assistance.
The amount is equivalent to more than P2 million. Northernforum.net