OFW De­part­ment cre­ation sup­ported

Mindanao Times - - NATIONAL -

MANILA — An of­fi­cial of the Catholic Bish­ops’ Con­fer­ence of the Philip­pines-Epis­co­pal Com­mis­sion on Mi­grants and Itin­er­ant Peo­ple (CBCP-ECMI) on Satur­day said the group sup­ports the plan of Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte to cre­ate an over­seas Filipino worker (OFW) De­part­ment.

CBCP-ECMI chair­man Bishop Ru­perto San­tos be­lieves that the es­tab­lish­ment of an agency for Filipinos work­ing abroad would specif­i­cally ad­dress their con­cerns.

“Yes, we at CBCPECMI, sup­port and en­cour­age the cre­ation of OFW Dept. With this, the wel­fare and well­be­ing of our OFWs will specif­i­cally be at­tended,” he said in a text mes­sage.

The Catholic pre­late is hop­ing that the De­part­ment would be a “one-stop­shop”, where the OFWs would be able to trans­act for their em­ploy­ment.

“It could be as if ‘on­estop-shop’ where our OFWs will never be asked

to go / travel from one place to an­other, to see dif­fer­ent per­sons from dif­fer­ent of­fices. So it will be less tir­ing for our OFWs, per­son­ally taken care and in­di­vid­u­ally pro­tected for il­le­gal ac­tiv­i­ties and fix­ers,” he said. “With OFW Dept, we know who is per­son­ally re­spon­si­ble for them, no more fin­ger point­ing, any­one or those amiss of their du­ties will specif­i­cally be known and be pros­e­cuted,” San­tos added. The CBCP-ECMI of­fi­cial said he will be pray­ing that the De­part­ment will be es­tab­lished soon. On Fri­day, Duterte said he is look­ing to es­tab­lish the De­part­ment of OFW to han­dle mat­ters con­cern­ing Filipino mi­grant work­ers be­fore the end of the year. The Pres­i­dent made the prom­ise be­fore thou­sands of for­mer and cur­rent OFWs at the event dubbed as “Pasasala­mat sa OFW” in Camp Aguinaldo, Que­zon City. The event was spear­headed by Gemma Sotto of the Global Po­lice Com­mu­nity Re­la­tions In­ter­na­tional. Aside from the new de­part­ment, Duterte said he is would also build hos­pi­tals for Filipino mi­grant work­ers. Se­na­tor Christo­pher “Bong” Go filed the bill for the cre­ation of the new de­part­ment. At present, there are sev­eral gov­ern­ment agen­cies that han­dle the con­cerns of OFWs, among them are the Philip­pine Over­seas Em­ploy­ment Ad­min­is­tra­tion, Over­seas Work­ers Wel­fare Ad­min­is­tra­tion, and the De­part­ment of Foreign Af­fairs To date, there are over 10 mil­lion Filipinos over­seas.

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