Manila, Philippines – The Overseas Worker’s Welfare Administration (OWWA) has supported the families of fourteen Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who were harmed in the Riyadh tanker explosion that killed at least 23 persons which includes Florentino Santiago and at the same time injured 135 others last October 31.
The support that the OFWs are getting includes one-on-one counseling and stress debriefing sessions.
One of those injured in the incident is Ruben Kebeng, the Filipino truck driver of the tanker that exploded.
According to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Ruben Kebeng, the Filipino truck driver of the tanker that exploded, is currently being held by Saudi authorities.
According to reports, Filipino Melchor Labi, who drove one of the tankers in the convoy with Kebeng, noticed the smoke coming from the tanker being driven by Kebeng before the explosion.
Labi stated that Kebeng stopped the tanker before the explosion, allowing 2 of the 7 LPG tankers in the convoy to turn around.
Josephine Sawac Kebeng, relative of Ruben Kebeng asked Overseas Worker’s Welfare Administration (OWWA) for help and support.
“Ang hinihiling ko sa gobyerno at sa OWWA at DFA ay yung tuloy-tuloy na pagtulong sa anak ko na si Ruben na sana nasa mabuti siyang kalagayan doon, at kung puwede sana ay kahit makausap man lang namin sa text or telepono.” Josephine said.
Meanwhile, OWWA stated in an interview that they are also coordinating with Kebeng’s family and relatives while doing counseling and debriefing on the side.
According to Philippine Vice President Jejomar Binay, the government is doing all it can to give support to all those affected by the blast.
He added that the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh is doing all it can to help Kebeng, adding in a statement, “Huwag natin ikasama ng loob na tinutulungan ng embahada natin yung nagmamaneho ng truck na sumabog, kailangan lamang na masiguro na naproprotektahan siya at yung tamang proseso ng imbestigasyon. He deserves to be protected also.”