The main office of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration in Pasay City, Philippines. Photo: Google Maps

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration has admitted that under-staffing is to blame for its slow response to complaints lodged by Filipino nationals working abroad.

Arnell Ignacio, deputy administrator of OWWA, said there are about 300 employees in its main office in Pasay City, Philippines, and 120 overseas, CNN Philippines reported. The administration represents more than 10 million overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

Ignacio said OWWA’s employees receive about 300 complaints daily as they monitor the situations of OFWs. However, he said this workload  does not excuse the agency’s shortcomings.

He was commenting after the family of Joanna Demafelis, the domestic worker whose body was found in a freezer, did to receive any help from OWWA after it was approached in February last year.

Her family said they lost contact with Demafelis that same month and sought OWWA’s help in finding her. However, they were neglected by OWWA officials,  ABS-CBN News reported.

According to Ignacio, Demafelis’ family will receive PHP270,000 (US$5,194) in financial aid, including PHP100,000 (US$1,918) for their livelihoods and PHP120,000 (US$2,301) for her funeral.

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