THE MOST active migrant rights group Migrante-Middle East and its affiliates in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) mourn with the sudden death of one of its members.

“The officers and members of Migrante-UAE are in deep sorrow as we received a confirmed report that our active member, Alex Galano Lapore, 37, died 10:00 a.m yesterday due to heat stroke,” said Nhel Morona, national coordinator of Migrante-UAE.

According to Morona as he spoke with an official of the Philippine Overseas Labor office (POLO) in Dubai yesterday, Lapore’s death was confirmed and that it’s under investigation though preliminary reports indicated that Lapore suffered a heart stroke causing him to collapsed face down hitting his head unto the concrete slab steps away from the entrance of POLO building after staying for a while at a makeshift tent beside the POLO building.

“We will be closely following the result of the investigation. We’ve contacted his family and will provide the needed assistance such as the immediate repatriation of his remains and belongings,” Morona added.

Morona added that Lapore is an undocumented OFW.

“His status as an undocumented has not been a hindrance for him to continue helping fellow undocumented and distress OFWs. He was an active member of our group’s rights and welfare committee,” Morona added.

“He used to go to POLO offices for case dialog to represent victims of abuses and raise various concerns of undocumented,” Morona said.

For his part, Saudi-based Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator John Leonard Monterona said the death of Mr. Lapore underscores the need for the Philippine government to provide efficient onsite assistance and needed welfare services for the distress, stranded, and undocumented OFWs.

He scores the POLO in Dubai by not allowing the OFWs to go through inside its offices and thereby queuing inside instead of letting the OFWs stay at a makeshift under high temperature.

“Thousands of distress, stranded, and undocumented were neglected by the Philippine government. They were not counted during Pres. Aquino’s SONA of 9.07 million OFWs as he wrongly claimed the decrease of OFWs number was due to his administration’s good economic performance thus many OFWs are coming home -but not for good, but for worst. We knew this was a spin. Aquino’s’s honchos at the DFA gave him a wrong figure,” Monterona said.

“In fact, an average daily deployment of 5,600 OFWs abroad would negate Pres. Aquino’s claim,” the OFW leader added.

Monterona added, “So we may asked the Aquino govt of its figures of undocumented and stranded OFWs worldwide? What are the govt services and programs for them? There are so many Alex Galano Lapores’ who have been neglected by the Philippine government.”

“Aquino and his administration failed to end forced migration or at least slowed it down. It in fact intensified the export of cheap Filipino labor abroad as it fails to generate local jobs with decent pay and benefits, the steady increase of the prices of basic goods and services, dire economic conditions of the poor forces many to find jobs abroad,” Monterona adding that just like previous administrations, Pres. Aquino neglected the millions of OFWs.

“We vow to continue and intensify our campaign to repatriate the stranded and for the legalization the undocumented OFWs,” Monterona said.

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