by AIRA NERIZE BERNARDO
PRESIDENT FERDINAND Marcos Jr. promised further support, opportunities, and safety for Overseas Filipino workers (OFW) and their families in his first State of the Nation Address (SONA).
With the help of the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW), Marcos assured OFWs employment opportunities that provide fair wages and are aligned with their skills
“Ito ang maglalatag sa kanila ng mga oportunidad; titiyak na ang kanilang mga hanapbuhay ay tugma sa kanilang kasanayan; maninigurong akma ang sahod at maayos ang kalagayan sa kanilang mga kumpanya, Marcos said.
He assured OFWs that his administration, through the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, would look after the well-being of their families with their children being admitted to quality educational institutions teaching financial literacy, mental wellness, sports, and arts and culture.
Marcos urged the Department of Foreign Affairs to coordinate with the DMW to ensure that all affected Filipino migrant workers—whether due to warfare or the COVID-19 pandemic—must be given labor opportunities immediately.
“Tinatawagan ko rin ang Department of Foreign Affairs na makipagtulungan sa Department of Migrant Workers na tiyaking ang lahat ng mga diplomatic post ay tutulong na agarang maibalik sa trabaho ang mga ating mga Overseas Filipino workers na nawalan ng hanapbuhay nitong nakalipas na mga taon,” he added.
Marcos said that he is currently in talks with the Saudi Arabian government on the possibilities of resumption in the deployment of Filipino migrant workers, adding that DMW Secretary Susan Ople will visit Saudi Arabia to advance campaigns against human trafficking.
“Kaya natin, at gagawin natin, ang makipag-negosasyon na mabigyan ang ating mga kababayan doon ng tamang pasahod, at mapangalagaan ang kanilang karapatan at kapakanan,” he said.
Aside from these, Marcos said he would prioritize assisting distressed OFWs through the One Repatriation Command Center program of DMW.
“Para sa mga kababayan nating naiipit sa kaguluhan, inaabuso, at nanganganib ang buhay, ikinagagalak kong sa ilalim ng aking pamumuno, ay inilunsad ang One Repatriation Command Center or ORCC,” Marcos said.
“Ilalaan natin ang social media platforms ng Department of Migrant Workers at ang hotline upang matulungan agad at mailigtas sila mula sa mas higit na kapahamakan,” he added.
Marcos then urged the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) and the Department of Information and Communications to prioritize the verification of contracts and issuance of secure Overseas Employment Certifications (OEC).
“You deserve it for your sacrifices, for our country, and your perseverance and excellence in the global arena,” he said. F