Press Release
December 18, 2017


As we celebrate International Migrants Day, we draw attention to the millions of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who have courageously braved new worlds and overcome adversity to try and give their families better lives.

OFWs have been regarded as paragon of heroism. Their lives tell of stories of endurance, tough grind, and struggle, but also of hope, dynamism, and triumphs.

Every day, but especially today, we say thank you to our OFWs. They are the original idols, or as the millennial slang calls it -- Lodi! Every simple good deed in the workplace or outstanding feat in their communities confirms to the world that indeed the Philippines is home to the great Filipino worker.

They are not only our heroes, but our saviors. For the foreseeable future, the Philippine economy will continue to be heavily dependent on overseas worker remittances. The domestic economy has been insulated from external shocks because of the steady supply of dollars in the system.

As a nation grateful to our OFWs, we have the responsibility to protect them while abroad, and make them feel and see that the families they have left behind are in good hands.

It's time the promises of many administrations for the OFWs welfare turn into reality. Government agencies in charge of migrant workers should strengthen their capacity to attend to the needs of the OFWs, especially those in distress. Philippine offices abroad should be prompt and efficient in assisting the OFWs in all their concerns.

The government should fully implement the laws related to migrant workers such as the Migrant Workers Act by giving them adequate budget to be able to respond to the needs of OFWs -- from recruitment to employment to reintegration.

Migration and remittances are only temporary measures toward the long-term goal of self-sufficiency. With hope and action, we still look forward to the day when Filipinos no longer have to see migration as a forced option, but just one of the choices. This is the legacy that every government should strive hard for its people.

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