Legarda pushes for sufficient funding of department on OFW concerns
MANILA, Philippines — House Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda hailed the implementation of the Department of Migrant Workers Act, which was recently enacted to address the needs of overseas Filipino workers (OFW’s) amid the global pandemic.
Legarda, who is seeking reelection as a senator, said the newly formed agency should now be provided sufficient funding in order to deal with OFW concerns.
She said that due to unprecedented health crises and political unrest in some countries, OFWs will need legal assistance; repatriation programs; reintegration programs of those who were displaced, entrepreneurial opportunities, skills mapping, matching between areas vacated by OFWs; and potential alternative places for redeployment.
“With millions of Filipinos working in foreign nations, it is our duty to safeguard their rights and welfare. A dedicated Department will make sure that our OFWs are in a secure workplace with fair terms of employment, decent working and living conditions, health protection, medical care, and other forms of social protection,” Legarda said in a statement.
President Rodrigo Duterte signed Republic Act No. 11641 or the Department of Migrant Workers Act on Dec. 30, 2021.
Legarda herself authored and sponsored various laws that advocate for the protection of OFWs including the RA No. 10635, also known as the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA); RA No. 10801 or the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Act; RA No. 10364 or the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2012.
She also supported the increase in the allocation of funds to the Department of Foreign Affairs for the repatriation of OFWs and legal assistance fund as Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Finance.
“They contribute tremendously in saving our economy. Hence, we must also provide adequate resources and enable avenues for their protection and welfare while in a foreign land,” said Legarda.
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