MANILA, March 14, 2011?Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) deserve respect and recognition for all their contributions to their respective families and the countryâ€™s well-being, the Philippine Vice-president said.
Speaking before families and relatives of migrant workers on March 13 at the Cuneta Astrodome, Vice President Jejomar Binay said the government is doing the best it can to alleviate the working conditions of millions of Filipinos at home and overseas.
Noting the challenges many Filipino families are undergoing due to absence of either or both parents, who are working abroad, he said the religious sector and the government jointly provide guidance and support to both workers and families left behind.
He called on the families of OFWs to remain hopeful that President Benigno Aquino III will continue to work for the welfare and well-being of Filipino workers here and abroad.
Vice President Binay, who also chairs the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, said the Pag-ibig fund has allocated some support to its members who fled their worksites in Libya and in Japan.
â€œWe have given the Pag-Ibig members a chance to utilize their contributions or seek moratoriums for their housing loans,â€ the vice president said.
He explained that all these are on top of the assistance being extended by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration.
Citing his previous meetings in the Middle East, the vice president said Filipinos have asked for immediate attention to their problems from Philippine Embassy officials as well as other government entities tasked to serve Filipino workers.
â€œTinitiyak ko po, bilang Presidential Adviser for OFW Concerns, na ang mga hinaing ay makakarating sa ating mahal na pangulo at matutugunan sa pinaka-madaling panahon,â€ he added.
Binay also took the opportunity to address issues relative to illegal recruitment and human trafficking.
He said more often than not, illegal recruitment and human trafficking are entwined with drug trafficking â€œwhere our OFWs are utilized to smuggle illegal drugs into some other foreign countries.â€
He added President Aquino wants all these problems addressed at the soonest possible time.
Meanwhile, in his earlier meetings with Filipino workers in Kuwait and United Arab Emirates, Binay learned that the workersâ€™ immediate employers have cited the dedication to duty of our compatriots. (Melo M. Acuna)