BY JUDY F. PARTLOW
The remains of a female overseas Filipino worker, who died in a deadly gas leak explosion in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) last month, arrived at the Dumaguete-Sibulan airport early yesterday morning.
Maritess Mercado, provincial director of the Department of Labor and Employment in Negros Oriental, said the body of Merriner Bartoces, 26, from Dumaguete, arrived on board a Philippine Airlines sweeper flight from Manila.
The family of the deceased OFW and representatives from the DOLE and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration in the province were at the airport to receive the remains, Mercado added.
The wake for Bartoces is now being held at the St. Peter’s Funeral Homes in nearby Bacong town.
Bartoces was one of the two OFWs killed in the Aug. 31 gas leak blast, where 10 other Filipinos and other nationals were injured.
She was a cashier at a KFC outlet in Abu Dhabi and her body was found under the rubbles following the explosion.
Bartoces’ family earlier asked for assistance from President Rodrigo Duterte and other Philippine government officials for the repatriation of her remains.
Meanwhile, the OWWA will give financial assistance to the Bartoces family, Mercado said.
She relayed that Roy Tambiga, OWWA focal person for Negros Oriental, said the assistance includes a mortuary beneficiary of P38,000, death and burial benefits of P220,000, and educational scholarship for Bartoces’ younger sibling.
The victim’s mother can also avail of a livelihood grant of P15,000, Mercado said.*PNA