Press Release
June 14, 2020

Statement of Senator Joel Villanueva, chair of the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment, and Human Resource Development, on the plight of OFWs:

The plight of our OFWs and the government's response is among the topics that will be discussed in the upcoming hearing of the Senate Committee on Labor. Given the global trend of unemployment, which is being felt by majority of our OFWs, our government must further intensify and expand the implementation of reintegration programs for their smooth transition back to the country. Skills training provided by TESDA, among other interventions, must be readily provided for our OFWs who look to upskill and retool to become more employable or to seek a new venture through entrepreneurship.

Aside from TESDA, we likewise call the attention of the Department of Labor and Employment to strengthen its coordination with different industries to determine the prevailing labor demand, so our government can help match their demand for employment. Matching the needs of the labor market is an effective way to reduce the unemployment in the country.

The way we have been treating our workers, especially our OFWs returning home falls short of how we are profuse in heralding them as our "bagong bayani." We don't leave our heroes begging on the streets and making them wait until they drop dead of hunger or depression. These deaths are avoidable if only our government extended more compassion on the plight of our OFWs and acted with dispatch and sense of urgency.

We implore our agencies to empathize with our OFWs. Let us not dismiss those taking their chance by camping out at bus stations and airport terminals because they long to be with their families, especially in these troubled times.

Kalingahin natin sila, at huwag ipagwalang-bahala. Tayo na lang po sa gobyerno ang pag-asa ng ating mga kababayang nagigipit sa panahon ngayon. Bawat minutong antala, lumalala ang sitwasyon nila. Huwag po natin sana silang ipagtulakan sa kawalan ng pag-asa.

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