Binay to DOLE, DFA: Assist OFWs arriving home from Kuwait
In the midst of strained diplomatic relations between the Philippines and Kuwait, Senator Nancy Binay called on the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to provide assistance to affected overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who will arrive home.
“I am calling on the DFA, DOLE and OWWA to ensure that OFWs affected by the permanent employment ban on Kuwait will not have to come home empty-handed,” Binay, chair of the Senate Committee on Social Justice, Welfare and Rural Development said on Wednesday.
The senator asked the agencies to help returning OFWs find a job or start a business, as she stressed that OFWs leave the country primarily because of financial difficulties. The senator also questioned whether government funds have already been allocated for their employment.
“Nabanggit na ang paggugol ng pondo mula sa China ay upang maiuwi natin ang mga kababayan natin sa Kuwait. Ang tanong naman pagkatapos nito ay saan natin kukunin ang perang gugugulin ng gobyerno para sila ay suportahan ‘pag dating nila dito sa bansa,” Binay said.
(It was mentioned that the fund from China was meant to bring home our countrymen from Kuwait. The question now is there any fund to spend for them when they arrive home?)
“Hindi lamang ang kanilang pagbabalik dito sa bansa ang kailangan nating paghandaan kung hindi maging ang kawalan ng kanilang hanapbuhay. Nakasalalay dito ang mga naipundar ng maraming OFWs na nakapag-establish na ng negosyo, may magandang career at pamilya,” she added.
(We need not only prepare for the OFWs’ return but also for their livelihood. At stake here is the OFWs’ investments and the establishment of their business, career and family.)
Binay also said that without proper programs to assist OFWs, the possibility of travelling back to Kuwait or other countries — whether authorized or not — becomes larger.
“As a mother, I understand why many of our OFWs would be afraid to leave their jobs in Kuwait. Takot silang umuwi at mawalan ng trabaho. Iniisip nila saan nila kukunin ang pambayad sa tuition ng mga anak nila,” she said.
“We need to ensure that their needs are met and that they will soon find employment. This is the only way we can protect them from unscrupulous individuals or groups that may prey on them.” /jpv
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