Press Release
August 17, 2022

Manifestation of Support
on Sen. Raffy Tulfo's Privilege Speech regarding OFWs

This is not a question, Madame President. I just would like to manifest my support to the privilege speech of our good colleague, Senator Tulfo. Alam mo, before I will express my manifestation of support, I just would like to react [to] the video that was showed [shown] by Senator Tulfo. Alam mo, Madame President, if only those crimes were happening within our jurisdiction of the Philippine territory, I would surely go there, Madame President, and personally, rescue, together with Senator Robin Padilla, dadalhin ko si Sen. Robin Padilla do'n para salakayin 'yung mga Arabo na 'yan na nananakit ng ating mga kababayan. But napakalayo na po, Madame President, beyond our territorial jurisdiction. Kaya ang magagawa ko na lang ay magalit sa sarili ko [kung] bakit nangyari 'yang mga gano'ng klaseng pananakit sa ating mga kababayan. But anyway, Madame President, I would like to manifest my support.

Madame President, and all members of this august body, good afternoon. I would like to express my full support for the concern raised by my esteemed colleague, Senator Raffy Tulfo. Justice for our migrant workers is the good Senator's clamor, and I know that the members of this body demand the same.

Although I am not an OFW myself, Madame President, ang ilan sa mga kapatid ko po ay mga OFW. Meron po akong tatlong kapatid ngayon na OFW, Madame President. Kaya alam ko po ang hirap na pinagdaraanan nila. It is not easy to live and work away from our family, from our loved ones. It is not easy to get used to the ways of living in a foreign country. Hindi madaling maging OFW. Lalong mas mahirap maging OFW na inaabuso ng kanilang mga employer, Madame President.

This is exactly why in the 18th Congress, I, together with some of our colleagues, particularly the BMW, the Brother of Migrant Workers, Senator Villanueva, actively fought for the establishment of the Department of OFWs, called the Department of Migrant Workers. But of course, the work does not stop there.

But of course, the work does not stop there. In the face of poor labor conditions, abuses, and acts of violence, our OFWs are defenseless and need protection. Truth be told, there is still so much to be done.

In fact, Madame President, I just came from a meeting this afternoon with over twenty OFWs from all over the world. Mayroong galing sa Italy, sa France, sa Japan, sa Netherlands, sa Greece, sa Abu Dhabi, and many other countries. Sila po ay mga leader ng OFWs. I was not able to receive them here at the Senate because of our new health protocols, but I felt that it was my duty to make sure that I meet with them, to let them know that their Senate is working for them.

Ang tanging hiling nila, Madame President, ay mapakinggan sila, mabigyang-pansin ang kanilang mga hinaing, at na sa bawat desisyon at polisiya na gagawin ng goyerno patungkol sa mga OFW, sana ang mga OFW mismo ay konsultahin, tanungin, at hingan ng opinyon. Because in the end, these decisions and policies that we make on this floor, from the comfort of our home country, will impact their life, as they continue to make their living on foreign soil.

Indeed, if there is anything more to do for them in the 19th Congress, I will do it. Both in my capacity as a Senator and as a public servant.

We currently have almost 2 million OFWs who need our utmost support and protection, and whose concerns and needs deserve a voice and proper representation.

It is my fervent hope that this Congress shall rise to the occasion and respond accordingly.

Muli, maraming salamat po sa ating Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Migrant Worker, Sen. Tulfo, sa pagbibigay prayoridad sa ating mga OFWs.

Thank you, Madame President.

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