De Lima pushes for livelihood, financial training and other programs for OFWs, their families


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Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima vowed to push for meaningful programs and legislations that will help improve the plight of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and their families.

De Lima, a social justice and human rights champion, underscored the need for livelihood and financial training for OFW families in the country to allow them to properly and judiciously manage their remittances.

Dahil po sa kanilang ibayong pagsisikap, marami po sa ating mga OFWs ay maayos na ang kabuhayan. Kaya kabilang po sa mga proyekto na puwedeng isulong para sa kanila ay turuan sila at ang kanilang mga kaanak kung paano maayos na pangasiwaan ang kanilang kinikita upang makapagsimula ng mga negosyo at iba pang investment para sa panahong gusto na nilang umuwi,” she said.

“There should be affordable online and on-demand training and certification available for OFWs who want to acquire new skills and certification but could not afford the tuition for training in the country where they work. Makatutulong ito sa pag-unlad at paglawak pa ng kanilang kaalaman upang makahanap din ng trabaho na mas mataas ang suweldo at mas makapagpundar pa para sa pamilya,” she added.

De Lima’s representative and Spokesperson, Atty. Dino De Leon, talked about the Senator’s program of government for OFWs during seperate online events hosted by  Team Leni Robredo KSA (ka-TROPA sa Saudi Arabia) and Kabayans for Leni 2022 last Jan. 28.

The  lady Senator from Bicol likewise said that there is a need for support for OFWs who wish to return to the country through re-skilling, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) support and employment programs.

“Kailangan nating siguraduhin na matapos ang ilang taong pagsisikap at pakikipagsapalaran ng ating mga OFWs sa ibang bansa upang matustusan ang pangangailangan ng kanilang pamilya, ay may maayos na buhay at tiyak na kabuhayan ang naghihintay sa kanila kapag nagdesisyon na silang bumalik sa bansa,” she said.

For reported abuses or documented cases of abuses/maltreatement of OFWs in certain countries, De Lima maintained that the government should designate a Human Rights attaché and/or set up a Human Rights desk in countries where they work.

“Sadly, some of our overseas workers who work night and day just to be able to provide better opportunities for their families here have been subjected to abuses and harassments,” she said.

This 18th Congress, De Lima filed proposed Senate Bill (SB) No. 1466 to address the injustice suffered by OFWs in the hands of illegal recruiters by redefining the crime of illegal recruitment committed by a syndicate by lowering the number of perpetrators from three to two to qualify as large-scale illegal recruitment.

De Lima also filed proposed Senate Resolution (SR) No. 497 directing the appropriate Senate Committee to look into the status of the national government’s OFW repatriation and assistance programs amid reports of continuing delays and inefficiencies in their implementation.

Concerned about the reported delays in the release of repatriated OFWs from their designated isolation and quarantine facilities in 2020, De Lima filed SR No. 426 seeking to identify the lapses in government’s repatriation program and help determine any accountability for the suffering of the OFW repatriates. (30)

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