Retirement system for OFWs

OFW retirement plan

September 8, 2023 People's Tonight 231 views

THE multibillion-dollar remittances of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), many of them land-based workers, continue to prop up the country’s economy.

In fact, the Philippines remains as one of the world’s principal exporters of high-quality migrant workers, particularly health professionals like medical doctors and nurses.

Also in great demand by foreign ship owners, many of them Europeans, are Filipino seafarers, including women, because of their dedication to work, loyalty and integrity.

Besides, our mariners, who work as ship captains, engineers and cooks, speak the English language.

Aware of the major contributions of OFWs to the country’s economy, well-meaning members of the House of Representatives now want to set up a retirement system for OFWs

And the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) supports two proposed House bills, which are all aimed at uplifting the living conditions of migrant workers and their dependents.

These are HB Nos. 8574 and 00176, otherwise known as the Kabayan OFW Pension Act and Overseas Filipino Workers Retirement System Act, respectively.

In supporting the two proposed bills, the CHR said: “The bills are seen as steps toward fulfilling the government obligation to uphold the people’s right to social security.”

HB No. 00176 calls for OFW retirement benefits, dependents’ pension, voluntary separation benefits, and a retirement fund to support these benefits and similar gratuities.

On other hand, HB No. 8574 seeks to provide adequate protection to OFWs and their dependents against the risks of old age, disability, sickness, death and unemployment.

We agree with the CHR when it said that OFW earnings usually go to the payment of debts, children’s education and living expenses. Only one percent goes to personal cash savings.

In the view of many, the establishment of a retirement system for OFWs is a move in the right direction.