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House panel determined not to leave returning OFWs out in the cold

FB_IMG_1696916368129.jpgKabayan Party-list Rep. Ron Salo (Rep. Salo’s office)

House Committee on Overseas Workers Affairs Chairman Kabayan Party-list Rep. Ron Salo is keen on facilitating President Marcos’ programs for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), especially those returning to the country.

Salo made this declaration Sunday, Oct. 22 even as the government worked round-the-clock to ensure the safe repatriation of OFWs and overseas Filipinos from ongoing conflict between Israeli forces and Hamas rebel fighters.

According to Salo, he received instructions from the House leadership for his panel to continue working during the legislative recess to act on pending bills that aim to benefit the welfare of OFWs.

“Upon the instruction of Speaker [Martin] Romualdez, my panel will be holding a comprehensive public consultation and hearing in order to gather input and insights from various stakeholders in the development of robust plans and policies to help the Marcos administration better support returning OFWs,” he said.

The veteran solon said the move is “a testament to the genuine desire of the House of Representatives to effectively fulfill its mandate and responsibility to the Filipino people amid all the political noise”.

“We have a job to do and we will not be distracted in our efforts of promoting the welfare of our OFWs,” he added.

The House of Representatives’ recess began Sept. 28 and will last until Nov. 6.

“This directive is made more relevant in light of the repatriation of OFWs amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict. As our brave OFWs return to our homeland, often after enduring various challenges abroad, we believe it is our duty to provide them with comprehensive support and assistance,” Salo explained.

He said his panel will look into possible legislation to protect OFWs and ensure their better reintegration into society in sync with the Marcos administration’s programs for the welfare of overseas Filipinos.

“We will begin by conducting a briefing with the relevant government agencies such as the DMW (Department of Migrant Workers), OWWA (Overseas Workers Welfare Administration), DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs), and TESDA (Technical Education and Skills Development Authority), among others, on the existing government assistance to OFWs. From there, we will formulate additional policies and make existing ones more efficient and effective,” he explained.

He said one possible proposal to focus on is a pension system for OFWs that will be jointly paid for by their employers and the OFWs themselves, as well as retraining at the TESDA and other similar programs of the government.

“I consider a pension system for OFWs as a lasting solution to the main concerns/needs of OFWs. This will provide income security and additional social protection for our modern day heroes,” Salo said.

Credit belongs to : www.mb.com.ph

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