Sunday, June 3, 2012

Who Takes Care of the Homeless Foreigners?

A few days ago, my husband and I (together with our four-month old son) went to Serendra to have one of our vouchers (group buying clubs) used in one of the restaurants there.  It was the last day and I didn't want a P799 voucher go to waste, and my husband wanted to see Market Market again.  So inspite that it was already late at night, we hauled our small family to that far away place.

On our way to the restaurant, we passed upon a man (which to my mind) looked like a foreigner.  He had this huge backpack and was eating what appeared to be a "humble" meal on the side of the mall (not from a stall mind you).  My husband didn't seem to notice him, but I saw him.  His legs even kind of looked swollen and he looked like he hasn't had a decent shower for awhile.

We went our way, and I didn't talk about it as we were late as it is, and were worried we wouldn't make it one time. Luckily, we had two hours to spare and we had a hearty meat meal (the restaurant was called Brazil! Brazil!).  On our way home, we passed by Starbucks, and I had the sinful Mocha Chocolate Chip Frapuccino.  I saw this foreigner guy (probably my husband's age or older) now sitting by his lonesome self on the road.  I was very tempted to call him and say if he wanted to sleep over our place for the night.

But having an infant causes one to be cautious about who one invites into the house.  As much as I pitied him, I had to look away and say I can't do anything for him.

Honestly, if there is anyone who needs help these are the foreigners who find themselves stuck here with no money.  They have no family around and no money.  I wonder if their embassies would find a way to look for their relatives in their home countries and repatriate them home.

In countries with Filipino overseas workers, at least the Philippine embassy makes an effort to repatriate.  I wonder if the embassies of these foreigners can make a similar effort?  If you have any idea, leave a message and I might just call his embassy if that helps any.

2 comments:

  1. A very appropriate article. Touches on something I have literally 'preached' to fellow Americans for years.

    The Philippines is a great country to live in (at least for me), but if you don't have a secure income stream, sufficient to your needs (and don't forget those needs might included unplanned medical expenses ... most people don't plan to get sick), it could be a very, very bad place to live.

    How many foreigners reading this know what "Pag pag" means? trust me, you don't want to know.

    In the US we have program after program which serve as 'safety nets' for those down on their luck ... even government issued 'debit-style' cards to get food when you are down and out. Also thousands upon thousands of charities (NGO's)which feed people,house them, help them find jobs, etc., etc. The majority of churches also run some sort of outreach charity ...at the least you can get a bowl of soup and a change of clothes .. even in the current economic hard times.

    In the Philippines, "not so much" ... and what strained resources there are here can (or certainly should) be aimed toward needy Filipinos. Even people in the US living below the government poverty level would be rich beyond many Filipino's dreams.

    In short? Stay the heck home unless you can support yourself and not stress an already overburdened support system.

    And in reference to going back to the USA? The US Embassy will repatriate American citizens via a government flight voucher system.

    You'll have to sign a promissory note to pay back the cost of your flight, but you can get back under the umbrella of the cornucopia of the USA. Just report to the US Citizen Services folks at the US embassy and ask for help.

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  2. I saw a foreign guy begging at the libertad station of LRT. I wanted to help, so i bought oranges and apple for him...guess he needs help but dont know what to do or how to help...

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