BBM-Sara pledges better deal for OFWs

April 2, 2022 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 152 views

LAKAS-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD) vice presidential candidate Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte and her presidential tandem, former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. are eyeing the immediate operationalization of the newly-created Department of Migrant Workers, formation of additional one-stop-shop centers for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), creation of stable jobs in the country and other similar programs.

The Uniteam’s programs were unveiled by Duterte during Friday night’s hybrid “miting de avance” via zoom with OFWs around the world at the grand ballroom of Hilton Manila in Pasay City.

Duterte told the OFWs that she would personally push for jobs for Filipinos so that they would no longer need to go aboard.

“We look forward to the operationalization of the Department of Migrant Workers. Ang aking personal na isusulong — trabaho para sa maraming Pilipino. Naniniwala ako na kung mayroong sapat na trabaho sa ating bansa, mas pipiliin ng mga Pilipino na manatili dito kaysa makipagsapalaran pa sa ibang bansa,” Duterte said, referring to

Department of Migrant Workers Act under Republic Act (RA)11641 that will absorb the functions of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and also regulate overseas employment and the reintegration of Filipino workers.

During the two-year transition period, Duterte urged the POEA to immediately craft a solid implementing rules and regulations (IRR) that shall cover all the mandated functions and duties of the new department, especially in the implementation of sound welfare programs and policies that respond to the concerns and needs of OFWs.

She also said that sufficient funding is needed for the implementation of the Department of Migrant Workers in order to further take care of the welfare of OFWs and their families.

In an ambush interview after the event, Marcos thanked OFWs and expressed hope that he and Duterte would get the votes of the OFWS.

“I sincerely hope so. We’re not confident of anything until we actually get it. So, but yes, of course. We are working hard to get their support,” Marcos said. “Maganda at tsaka nakakatuwa kahit hybrid medyo maganda pa din ang response at ang daming nag-participate. Nakakatuwa.”

In his speech, Marcos promised to strengthen the protection and benefits for OFWs and like Duterte, he is dreaming that someday Filipinos will no longer leave their families to work abroad just to ensure a better future for them.

Duterte said the UniTeam programs are aimed at protecting the rights, promoting the welfare, and expanding the opportunities for OFWs to further recognize their excellence, love, and patriotism for the country.

She underscored the importance of improving and widening government’s assistance to migrant workers who have been hailed as the country’s modern-day heroes.

According to Duterte, they are also determined to further improve the economic welfare and well-being of Filipino migrant workers and their families by creating livelihood programs and broadening those that are already in existence.

“Magsisikap kami na mas madagdagan pa ang mga OFW one-stop-shop Service Centers sa buong bansa,” Duterte said. “Palalawakin natin ang mga livelihood programs para sa mga OFW at sa kanilang pamilya katulad ng ‘Balik Pinas, Balik Hanapbuhay’ Program at Livelihood Development Assistance Program para sa mga undocumented OFWs.”

Duterte assured that under the Marcos-Duterte leadership, migrant workers are fully protected, even against abuse and would receive their wages and other benefits due them wherever they may be working.

“Titiyakin natin na protektado ang mga OFWs sa mga bansang kanilang pinagtatrabahuan. Ang mga embahada at konsulado ay gagabay, tutulong at magbibigay ng kasiguraduhan na natatanggap ng mga OFWs ang tamang sahod at benepisyo mula sa kanilang mga employers at nabibigyan sila ng proteksyon laban sa abuso,” she said.

Duterte told the OFWs that UniTeam is a partner in pushing for their rights and in their quest for success, adding she and her tandem knew their needs and felt their predicament.

“Dahil ramdam ng UniTeam ang inyong mga suliranin, pangangailangan at damdamin. Makaka-asa ang lahat ng OFWs na kaagapay ninyo kami sa pagsusulong ng inyong mga karapatan at tagumpay. Upang mapadali ang katuparan ng inyong pangarap at ng inyong mga pamilya na darating ang araw na hindi na kayo, tayo magkakawalay pang muli,” the Davao City mayor said.

Duterte told the migrant workers that while a peaceful life is the dream of every Filipino, she knew that this is their ultimate wish.

“Mapayapang pamumuhay. Ito ay pangarap nating lahat, hindi lang ng mga OFWs. Pero mahalagang mahalaga ito sa mga OFWs na malayo sa kanilang mga pamilya. Isa sa lagi nilang iniisip ay kung safe ba ang kanilang mga pamilya sa Pilipinas,” she said, adding that peace and order has been one of the successful programs of her father.

She also told the migrant workers that she would push for education, which goes hand-in-hand with jobs.

“Edukasyon. Kakambal ng magandang trabaho ang edukasyon,” Duterte said. “Isusulong ko rin ang pagbibigay sa mga kabataan ng edukasyon na de-kalidad at napapanahon. Kung mayroong sapat na edukasyon at kaalaman ang ating mga kabataan, magiging produktibo silang bahagi ng ating lipunan. Makakatulong sila sa iba’t ibang industriya. Magiging kasama natin sila sa pagsulong ng kaunlaran sa ating bansa.” With Jester Manalastas

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