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MANILA, Philippines -- Two years after he suffered debilitating burns after he was electrocuted at work, and weeks after fellow overseas Filipino workers and netizens appealed for help on his behalf, Alfredo Salmos will finally be coming home, Vice President Jejomar Binay announced on Wednesday.
Salmos, said Binay, “is coming home in the next few weeks.”
Binay said ever since Salmos’ case was brought to his attention “a few weeks ago … I have been in constant communication with the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Philippine Consulate in Jeddah, and the Department of Labor and Employment --through the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration -- to bring a concerted effort in asking the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to grant Mr. Salmos clearance to depart the Kingdom.”
He explained that Salmos’ repatriation “was hampered by a lack of a final exit clearance from his employer, and a police clearance in connection with his involvement in a car accident that occurred a decade ago.”
Salmos, 52, a native of Nueva Ecija who worked as electrician for Siemens in Jeddah, was electrocuted in 2010 by a 14,000-volt breaker he was trying to shut down and was in a coma for a month.
Early this month, migrant groups and fellow overseas Filipinos trumpeted calls for Salmos’ repatriation and sent out calls for monetary assistance for the surgery he needs to fully recover.
Among the first to send out calls on his behalf was a fellow OFW, Paranaque native Steven Villanueva Ambrosia, who with his mother helped take care of Salmos.
Pictures of the injured Salmos that Ambrosia posted on Facebook helped drum up support for the injured Filipino.
In a separate statement, the OFW advocacy group Migrante hailed news of Salmos’ impending homecoming, saying “collective efforts result (in) a good job done.”
Binay commended Consult General Uriel Norman Garibay of the Philippine Consulate in Jeddah who, he said, “was able to locate the employer and sponsor of Mr. Salmos, and was able to negotiate the granting of a final exit clearance.”
He also thanked the Saudi government for granting Salmos police clearance.