Press Release
June 21, 2008

Villar, Migrante tie up efforts to protect OFWs

Senate President Manny Villar and Migrante International have joined hands and strengthened their partnership in pushing and pursuing the welfare and protection of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

Villar, who started his crusade of helping OFWs 30 years ago when he was still in the private sector, met with Migrante leaders today to jointly sign a memorandum of agreement (MOA) for the OFWs' cause at the Starmall in Edsa Mandaluyong.

The agreement, signed by Villar and Migrante's Lian Santos, particularly provides for their joint undertaking for the protection of migrants' rights and against human trafficking and illegal recruitment, to aid in the repatriation and pursuit of justice for distressed overseas workers.

"Hundreds of our OFWs in different countries around the globe are in distress and need urgent assistance. They deserve help the way that they have braved the unfamiliar terrain and culture abroad for the welfare of their families and our economy," Villar stressed.

"With the support of Migrante, we look forward to strengthening our efforts for the protection and assistance of our overseas Filipino workers," he said.

Villar recently sponsored the repatriation of a number of maltreated and underpaid Filipino workers in the Middle East, among whom were minors. They met and made their plea to the Senate president during his visit to embassies abroad.

The Nacionalista Party president and Migrante will be sharing vital information relating to OFWs and their particular cases and updates for better response and action.

They shall likewise conduct an effective and extensive information campaign to promote knowledge of OFWs' rights, including releasing a handbook for migrant workers.

Villar's recently launched OFW Helpline (0917-4226800), which aims to provide a channel by which distressed and endangered OFWs and their families can report their situations, shall also be given support by Migrante by way of personnel assistance and handling of concerns.

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