Duterte wants OFWs assisted from recruitment to deployment

Date Posted: 07/12/2016

President Rodrigo Duterte’s top order for the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is to ensure that government assistance is available to them from recruitment to deployment.

At a forum on Monday, Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. said first in the “marching orders” he received from Duterte is to “make sure” that the needs of OFWs are “specially and adequately addressed.”

“We want to make sure that from the very day, the first day that the recruitment processes start, up to the time that they arrive at their point of destination, we will be ready and available to help them in their needs,” Yasay said.

“We know that as they go abroad, they’ll be the subject of a lot of difficulties, uncertainties, and vulnerabilities, and the least that we can do for our overseas workers, who—in a true sense—are our economic heroes, is to make ourselves readily available for their service,” he added.

Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority shows that there are an estimated 2.4 million Filipinos working abroad as of 2015.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas in June 2015 reported that OFWs around the world sent $26.92 billion (P1.20 trillion) to the Philippines in 2014.

Yasay earlier said a study is being conducted for the creation of a Department of Overseas Filipino Workers, which Duterte promised during the campaign period for the May 9 elections.

‘Cutting red tape’

Meanwhile, the new DFA chief also pointed out that they will be working on streamlining the processes involved in getting travel documents.

Yasay said the process “will be cut to the minimum in terms of red tape.”

“Our President has said that he will not tolerate any lines or any queueing of the public, particularly also with our overseas Filipino workers,” he said. “Insofar as the DFA is concerned, we will cut short the process that is necessary in the grant of these passports or travel documents.”

He added that they will also be “closely coordinating” with other government agencies for the planned streamlining.

Published Date: July 4, 2016
Source: GMA News