Cayetano laments gov’t’s shortcomings in protecting OFWs
Vice presidential candidate Senator Alan Peter Cayetano on Friday said he would create a dedicated department to protect and promote the welfare of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
“We will abolish all unnecessary permits and procedures for OFWs, and establish a department solely dedicated to protect and promote the welfare of OFWs,” Cayetano said in a statement.
Cayetano lamented how the government failed to assist victims of the bullet-planting scam five months after it plagued the country’s airports.
He cited how OFW Gloria Ortinez was accused of carrying a bullet at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) before leaving the Philippines to work as a domestic helper in Hong Kong in October 2015.
“Ang nangyari kay Aling Gloria ay hindi na dapat maulit. Tama na ang hirap at gulo. Panahon na para sa sumaya ang Pilipino,” the senator said.
(What happened to Gloria should never happen again. We have had enough suffering and chaos. It’s time Filipinos become happy.)
Ortinez was terminated by her employer after she failed to return to Hong Kong on time in the aftermath of the tanim-bala incident.
“Nawalan ng trabaho dahil tinaniman ng bala. Pero imbes na itama ang pagkakamali at alisin ang gulo sa buhay ni Aling Gloria, walang ginawa ang gobyerno para bigyan siya ng alternatibong kabuhayan. Mas masahol, ang malalaking isda na nasa likod ng tanim-bala ay hindi pa rin napaparusahan,” Cayetano said in a statement.
(She lost her job because of the bullet-planting incident. But instead of alleviating her suffering, the government did not provide her with another livelihood. What’s worse, the people behind the bullet-planting scam have not been apprehended.)
If elected vice president, the senator vowed to protect OFWs and hold accountable all the people behind the scam.
“Bibigyan natin ng matapang na solusyon at mabilis na aksyon ang problemang ito (Let’s give this problem a courageous solution and quick action),” he said.
The senator said he would “dismantle all the syndicates operating inside our airports and jail all those behind these groups.”
“We will pursue the cases I filed against several public officials who are administratively liable for the scam,” he said.
Cayetano has filed an administrative complaint against transportation secretary Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya and executives of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) at the Office of the Ombudsman over the alleged “tanim-bala scam” victimizing airline passengers. IDL
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