MANILA, Philippines — Overseas Filipino workers representing several groups of OFWs in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North America were assured of government assistance as Sen. Bong Go vowed to continue to push for a department dedicated to protect and ensure their welfare, especially in these trying times.
“Rest assured that I will fight for you. You know, all OFWs and I are close to the heart of President Duterte… I know you would rather stay here in our country than be away from your family. But you have to work abroad so let us make sure you have a reliable and approachable department,” said Go as he had an online forum with representatives from OFW groups.
Over 350 OFWs representing several groups of overseas Filipinos in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North America attended an online forum, organized by United Filipino Global and held on Saturday to raise awareness on how to better protect the rights and welfare of Filipinos abroad and to show their support for Senate Bill No. 1949, which aims to establish the Department of Overseas Filipinos.
Go spoke of the need for a department dedicated to protect the rights and advance the interests of overseas Filipinos who now compose 10 percent of the country’s population.
He also highlighted the adverse impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic which resulted in the repatriation of thousands of OFWs, many of whom are in urgent need of government assistance.
On Dec. 14, Go filed SBN 1949. The measure seeks to streamline the organization and functions of all government agencies related to overseas employment and migration so the government can perform its functions and mandates more efficiently.
The Department of Overseas Filipinos Act of 2020 is the third iteration of a bill introduced by Go in 2019. It represents the unified position of the executive branch of the government on how the proposed agency can best address crucial problems, deliver important services and achieve its goals with regard to Filipinos overseas.
Certified as urgent by President Duterte, the measure is one of the top 20 priority bills identified by both houses of Congress for 2021.