By CHRIS V PANGANIBAN
DOHA: The Philippine Overseas Labour Office-Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (POLO-OWWA) has opened 24-hour telephone lines to accommodate any complaints or other concerns from the Filipino community.
The move to open up the round-the-clock grievance call centre was the result of the efforts of POLO-OWWA officials to improve its services to the growing number of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) which have increased to about 250,000, considered as the third largest population among expatriates in Qatar.
POLO-OWWA has distributed an advisory through leaflets and e-mails to the Filipino community indicating the telephone numbers where the Filipino public can access the round-the-clock telephone numbers.
For calls during office hours, Sunday through Thursday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, the number will be 4488-4485 while calls after office hours from 4:30 pm to 8:30 during weekends and holidays could be made at 55354541.
POLO-OWWA has also announced fax number 44870487 and email address of firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 24-hour services could be a welcome relief to the OFWs since POLO-OWWA has been the subject of criticisms from the community with complaints ranges from telephone lines inaccessibility to the reported inefficiency in dealing with services to OFWs having transaction with such government office.
Welfare Officer Dayang Dayang Sitti Jaafar said several staff have been assigned as call agents to attend to any calls anytime of the day who will take note of any grievances and other concerns and immediately forward it to the concerned section of the POLO-OWWA.
The new services, the first being introduced by a government agency, was borne out of the reforms being introduced by Labour Attache Ricardo Sodusta since he assumed the post a few months back in an effort to reach out to the OFWs in Qatar.
“It’s doing well definitely. The services in our office have very much improved ever since Labour Attache Sodusta came here in Doha,” Jaafar said.