Latest Stories

Legarda: Welfare of OFWs a top priority

Senator Loren Legarda. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines–Promoting the rights and welfare of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and seafarers will continue to top Sen. Loren Legarda’s Senate legislative agenda even as the Senator reminded them that they are adequately protected under various laws and treaties passed by Congress.

”Patuloy kong ipaglalaban ang karapatan ng ating mga OFWs sa loob at labas ng Senado. Sa katunayan may mga batas at international treaty na akong itinulak para sa kapakanan nilang naghahanapbunay sa ibang bansa (I will continue to fight for the rights of OFWs inside and outside of the Senate. The truth is I have already pushed for laws and international treaty for the benefit of those working overseas) ,” Legarda said in a statement issued to media.

She said the Senate has concurred in the ratification of at least 19 treaties protecting overseas Filipinos, including the ILO Convention 189 on Decent Work for Domestic Workers, the  Maritime Labor Convention (MLC) for the protection of the rights of seafarers; and the Convention on Social Security between the Philippines and Spain. As chairman of the Senate foreign relations committee, Legarda had defended
the various treaties on the Senate floor.

Legarda added that she will immediately refile her bill institutionalizing welfare programs for OFWs and their families through a new charter for the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).

According to Legarda, the ILO Convention 189, which came into force this year, dramatically improves the employment conditions of domestic workers in the Philippines and worldwide.The Philippine ratification of the ILO Convention 189 was formally registered last September 5, with the Philippines as the second country to ratify the Convention.

The treaty will benefit the 3.4 million Filipino domestic workers in the Philippines and abroad by ensuring that, first and foremost, domestic workers, like other workers, enjoy the same mantle of basic rights, such as
reasonable hours of work, weekly rest, clear information on terms and conditions of employment, and freedom of association.

The treaty was fleshed out with the recent signing into law of the Kasambahay Act — with Legarda as among the authors — which mandates employers to provide benefits to domestic workers, including Social
Security, Philhealth and a minimum wage.

Legarda, who sponsored the Senate’s concurrence in the ratification of the Maritime Labor Convention, said that the MLC, which also takes effect this year, is the seafarers’ bill of rights. It covers such basic rights as
freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining, elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labor; effective abolition of child labor, and elimination of discrimination with respect to employment and occupation.

Legarda said, “Sea-worthy, safe, efficient, and hopefully, environment-friendly ships will become the norm more than the exception. Governments are called upon by the Convention to effectively enforce its regulatory role in ensuring safer and secure shipping, in preventing marine pollution, and in ensuring decent work for seafarers.”

The Senator added that the MLC erases ambiguity on the definition of seafarer as the Convention covers not just the crew involved in navigating or operating the ship but also other workers, including cleaning personnel,
bar staff, waiters, entertainers, singers, kitchen staff, and casino personnel — positions occupied by thousands of Filipinos in foreign vessels.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Elections , Loren Legarda , News , OFWs , Politics , vote 2013

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  2. Chinese lawyers say they were tortured by police
  3. Hair salon’s Kim Jong Un poster riles embassy
  4. Siquijor ‘healer’: For every cure, there’s a plant
  5. State seeks guilty verdict for Abalos
  6. Why college grads end up in the PNP
  7. Estrada: I will pray for my detractors
  8. Miraculous image makes Gapan City top site for pilgrimage in Central Luzon
  9. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  10. Five men from Cavite found dead in jeep in Batangas
  1. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  2. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  3. Netizens cry: 6/55 Lotto was rigged
  4. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  5. ‘Wife of Jesus’ theory papyrus not fake – Harvard study
  6. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  7. Gay college instructor arrested for oral sex with student
  8. ‘King’ Yabut and I: Driver bares Makati dad ‘abuses’
  9. It was difficult having Japanese blood
  10. Palace: We can’t blame increase in population on Vitangcol
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Pork payoffs to newscasters Erwin Tulfo, Del Prado, others bared
  4. UP back on top as ‘average’ student aces bar
  5. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  6. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  7. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  8. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  9. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  10. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’


  • Drug firm Novartis to help Leyte firefighter
  • Fears grow for hundreds missing in South Korea ferry capsize
  • Robot sub makes first complete search for plane
  • uFly fires flight simulator who appeared on CNN
  • DPWH allots P1.2 trillion for PH roads
  • Sports

  • Federer would skip tennis to be with wife, newborn
  • Manny Pacquiao in PBA? If so, he’ll wear No. 17
  • PSC sets Blu Girls US training
  • Power Pinoys settle for 7th place
  • Successful coaches to get raise
  • Lifestyle

  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • This is not just a farm
  • Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  • Moist, extra-tender blueberry muffins
  • Entertainment

  • Jay Z to bring Made in America music fest to LA
  • Why Lucky has not bought an engagement ring for Angel
  • Derek more private with new girlfriend
  • ‘Community’ star happy with return of show’s creator
  • Jealousy is kid stuff
  • Business

  • PH presses bid to keep rice import controls
  • PSEi continues to gain
  • Number of retrenched workers rose by 42% in ’13
  • PH seen to sustain rise in FDIs
  • Gov’t subsidies to state firms fell in first 2 months
  • Technology

  • DOF: Tagaytay, QC best at handling funds
  • Smart phone apps and sites perfect for the Holy Week
  • Tech company: Change passwords or suffer ‘Heartbleed’
  • Filling the digital talent gap
  • SSS to shut down website for Holy Week
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • Japan says visa-free entry still a plan
  • First Fil-Am elected to Sierra Madre, Calif. city council
  • UC Irvine cultural night to dramatize clash of values in immigrant family
  • Filipino sweets and info served at UC Berkeley Spring Fest
  • Milpitas, California kids wrap up a successful run of ‘The Wiz’
  • Marketplace