Demands constant aid to OFWs
THE lone representative of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW), Rep. Marissa Del Mar Magsino and the OFW Party List found President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s second State of the Nation Address informative and highly inspiring, particularly as he mentioned the various accomplishments and continuing commitment of his administration in advancing the welfare and safeguarding the rights of our OFWs.
“This, in recognition of their hard work, sacrifices in leaving their families behind to work abroad, and their significant contributions to the economy with USD 32.5 billion or P 1.8 trillion in remittances in 2022, solidifying their role in the country’s transformative economic growth,” said Congw. Magsino.
Among other achievements, the President underscored the digitalization efforts of the government with the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) launching the mobile application for the on-line acquisition of the OFW Pass in lieu of the Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) which proved too difficult and tedious for our OFWs to secure, and the government’s engagement with partners in the international community to ensure fair employment and a safe working environment for our OFWs through bilateral labor agreements such as those recently inked with Singapore, Austria and Canada.
Magsino said there was also relief and jubilation in the President’s announcement that the unpaid salaries and other related money claims of some 14,000 OFWs who have been put out of work in Saudi Arabia during the pandemic are already being processed by the Saudi government.
Furthermore, the President highlighted the continued employment of some 50,000 and the deployment of more Filipino seafarers aboard European Union (EU) vessels, with the note to attune or maritime education and training in the country to the high, exacting and constantly evolving global standards.
Expressing the wish that one day foreign employment will be driven by choice and not by necessity, these accomplishments reflect the President’s genuine concern for the well-being of our OFWs.
On other pressing national concerns, the President was reassuring in reporting that progress have been made and actions continuously being undertaken to lower inflation, address food security by improving productivity in the agricultural sector and aggressively confront agricultural smuggling, confront the looming water and energy crises by tapping alternative sources of supply and lowering their costs, making preparations to combat the effects of the current El Niño phenomenon and other climate change-related challenges, and on improvements in the delivery of education, health and other basic social services to the people.
“Significantly, the President scored on his administration’s progress in providing affordable and decent housing for millions of homeless Filipinos through the Pambansang Pabahay Para sa mga Pilipino (4Ph) Program, which is aligned and in convergence with the OFW Party List’s Pabahay Para sa mga OFWs project,” Magsino said.
“Then there was a strong sense of patriotism in the President’s firm reassertion to defend the country’s sovereignty over the disputed West Philippine Sea. In his ending, there was an overwhelming approval of the President’s stance for the adoption of the ‘whole-of-society’ and ‘whole-of-the-country’ approaches to push for higher levels of accomplishments, encouraging the unity of all Filipinos,” she added.
Taking cues from these accomplishments and plans of the President, Magsino and the OFW Party List shall continue to support and complement the government’s programs and policies geared towards the promotion of the welfare and protection of the rights of our OFWs, as well as for the country’s economic growth and sustainable development.