Wednesday, August 4, 2021

DFA to assist special-needs kid stranded in UAE

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. ordered an “all out” assistance for a special needs kid who was stranded in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) along with his parents because of the Philippines’ travel ban on passengers coming from the Middle East country.

Locsin asked Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Sarah Lou Ysmael Arriola to look into the situation of Lucas Iñigo Ricamora and his parents after a concerned netizen tweeted him about the family’s predicament about being stranded in UAE.

Lucas Iñigo Ricamora (Malou Talosig/Twitter)

“@DFAPHL @slyarriola Sarah, let’s go all out for this kid. He has a special place in DFA heart as you well know,” he tweeted on Saturday, July 3, in response to the tweets of Malou Talosig.

“Let’s help Lucas come home,” Locsin also told Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) chief Hans Leo Cacdac.

Arriola replied in the affirmative and informed Locsin that the family is flying back on July 12, the Philippines’ first flight this July.

“@PHinUAE is in close contact with the family and will render appropriate assistance,” she said.

According to Talosig, Ricamora’s mother was an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) nurse in UAE whose contract expired in June. They were booked to join the June 30 repatriation flight to Manila but the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi apparently forgot to inform Philippine Airlines that the child has a medical condition and would need oxygen.

The family was offloaded and had to return to their apartment in Abu Dhabi. They had to renegotiate with the landlord to allow them to stay, as well as pay new insurance and overstaying fines.

Talosig said that Ricamora’s parents are also worried because they don’t have enough prepared food, which has to be blenderized and put in a tube for feeding.

His mother is requesting to accommodate her son and husband in the next available flight to Manila since she cannot go back home anymore because her new employer in the United States wants her to be there by July 19.

She’s requesting assistance at the airport, plane, and upon arrival in Manila because her husband is not a medical frontliner and thus, cannot respond to an emergency in case something happens to Ricamora.

Talosig said Ricamora’s mom also wants to “shorten quarantine period kasi ‘yung food daw na dala nila (the food that they have with them is) not enough anymore to last (a) 10-day quarantine.”

If possible, she’s also asking for financial assistance to help cover the fines, insurance, and rent.

Locsin said these are “great suggestions” and that the DFA “will help.”

“I have money in DFA I can realign. I admire the parents. I admire the parents of all special kids. They are the real heroes. The rest are windbags,” he tweeted.



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