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Gov’t creates exclusive agency for OFWs

MANAMA, Bahrain – President Duterte on Friday announced the creation of a government agency that will attend solely to the concerns of Filipino migrant workers.

“By the way, the overseas (Filipino workers) in a few months, you will have a department of OFW only,” the President said in his speech during his meeting with the Filipino community at the Khalifa Sports Stadium here Friday night (early yesterday morning in Manila).

According to Duterte, through this new department, the processing time for the deployment of OFWs will be reduced from six weeks to three weeks.

“You can go online if you want to look for an employment overseas,” he said. “You just check the list available, choose then you apply online. You have to go through fake employment agencies, you can go direct. And then they (the department) will take care of the rest for your convenience.”

The President said the government of Bahrain has offered to help and make it easy for OFWs to get employed here.

“I think the spirit or the heart of Bahrain is with you,” he said. “What I want you to avoid are those fly-by-night employment agencies who ask for exorbitant fees.”

Likewise, Duterte said OFWs who return home for their vacation, especially during Christmas, will no longer have their baggage inspected by airport authorities.

He pointed out that the baggages of local government officials are not inspected at airports. Such privilege should also be accorded to OFWs.

“You are not just heroes,” said Duterte. “Our gross national product, a good part of it, actually your remittances…is keeping our economy alive. A good part of the money of our economy comes from you.” (Roy C. Mabasa)