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Risk insurance for OFWs in war-torn countries sought

/ 05:06 PM June 04, 2015

A lawmaker has proposed an automatic grant of war-risk insurance to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) being deployed to countries with armed conflicts.

In a statement, Rep. Joseph Violago of Nueva Ecija said House Bill No. 5671 was aimed at protecting the rights of Filipino migrant workers as mandated by the Constitution.

“The bill will strengthen the current standards of protection and welfare for Filipino migrant workers and their families in accordance with policies and the constitutional mandate of according full protection to our workers,” he said.

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If passed, war risk insurance for OFWs as defined by the bill would cover “death and any damage, loss or injury due to acts of war, including invasion, insurrection, coup d’état, rebellion, piracy, riots, mass uprisings and acts of terrorism in the war-ravaged countries.”

“Under the bill, OFWs working in war-torn countries are assured of P100,000 insurance coverage in the form of an escrow deposit, which will be deposited by the recruitment or placement agencies to an accredited reputable bank and a surety bond of P500,000 from a bonding company accredited with the Insurance Commission,” the statement read.

Violago highlighted the importance of legislating the mandatory grant of risk insurance, as this was not being covered by insurance policies of recruitment and placement agencies.

“As war risks may be specifically excluded from a basic insurance coverage, it must, as a matter of public policy, be made available to OFWs as an added protective mantle for their own benefit and their families,” he said, adding that a basic insurance coverage should include war risk insurance.

The lawmaker also urged Congress to craft a “system a social protection” for migrant workers, including seafarers, to compensate for the damages they might incur from “failure of a recruitment and placement service.” RC

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TAGS: Congress, insurance, migrant workers, ofws, Overseas Filipino workers, Terrorism, War
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