Leni-Kiko tandem vows protection for OFWs from illegal recruitment, violence | Inquirer News
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Leni-Kiko tandem vows protection for OFWs from illegal recruitment, violence

/ 07:43 PM April 25, 2022
Some 1,000 priests have pledged their support for the candidacy of the Vice President Leni Robredo and her running mate Senator Kiko Pangilinan.

Vice President Leni Robredo (left) and Senator Kiko Pangilinan. FILE PHOTOS

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Francis Pangilinan on Monday gave assurance that his tandem with Vice President Leni Robredo will implement better ways to protect overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from illegal recruiters and violence if they will win in the May 2022 elections.

Pangilinan, who is seeking the vice presidency under Robredo’s ticket, said that they have signed a covenant with OFWs to show their commitment towards improving conditions for the workers and their families.

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One part of the covenant seeks the integration of an information and communications technology strategy to communities that would empower families to participate in migration governance and to ensure that applicants would be treated fairly and would not be subjected to abuses like illegal recruitment, trafficking, domestic violence, and other dangers.

“Patuloy ang inyong pagsisikap para sa inyong pamilya at sa bayan. Kailangan itong tumbasan ng pamahalaan ng mahusay at mabilis na serbisyo,” he said.

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(You continue to work hard for your families and for the countries. In return, the government needs to repay this by providing quick and good service.)

“Ang bawat paglayo ng ating mga OFW ay hindi dapat nasasayang. Dapat katulong ang gobyerno sa pagtupad ng inyong pangarap,” he added.

(Every trip made by our OFWs should not be put to waste. The government should be part of helping you achieve your dreams.)

Aside from that, Pangilinan said that OFWs also want the full implementation of Republic Act No. 11641 which created the Department of Migrant Workers Act, so that they can access government services and support — a move that he supports.

“(The creation of migrant resource centers especially in the provinces would) to make integrated and efficient migration services available in communities for OFWs and their families,” he noted.

Under the said covenant, OFWs seek that every local government unit would have a Migration and Development Committee, Migrant Resource Centers and OFWs help desks to facilitate quick and efficient response to migrant workers’ needs.

Similarly, the workers said they want to expand the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Trust Fund which can be used as a national provident savings and reintegration fund for OFWs who would return to the country.

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“This is an essential part of reintegration preparedness and serves as a safety net in times of crisis such job loss, untimely return, health and other emergencies,” the covenant read.

“OFWs will have portability of benefits through bilateral labor agreements and social security agreements,” it added.

Overseas workers have contributed hugely to keeping the economy afloat, as remittances increased even with the COVID-19 pandemic drastically affecting the country’s various sectors.

With the increase of remittances from 2019 to 2020 — and even in 2021 — economists believe that OFWs played a big role in keeping the economy afloat and recover faster from the pandemic.

However, OFWs have still encountered problems despite playing a big role in the country’s success: last March 2021, the Senate labor committee found out that nearly 5,000 cases of abuses against OFWs occurred in 2020.

The Department of Foreign Affairs has admitted in the past that it is hard to stop abuses against Filipino workers, which has prompted President Rodrigo Duterte himself to ban deployment of workers several times to certain countries.

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TAGS: #2022candidates, #VotePH2022, 2022 elections, domestic violence, Illegal Recruitment, Leni Robredo, OFWs, Senator Francis Pangilinan, trafficking
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