Labor and Employment Undersecretary for labor relations Manuel G. Imson has flown to Zamboanga City in southern Philippines today to coordinate the heads of various agencies in Region 9 to assist returning migrants to Malaysia and operationalize the DOLE-led One Stop Processing Center for these migrants. Imson has met with Zamboanga City Mayor Celso G. Lobregat.

Imson said that on top of the One-Stop Center for OFWs to be opened in Zamboanga on February 14, a similar center shall also be opened in Bongao, Tawi Tawi, closer to the Philippines’ maritime border with Malaysia, to more effectively assist returning migrants from that area.

Imson said the DOLE’s Region 9 Office headed by Director Chita DG Cilindro, and the OWWA, POEA, and TESDA in the region shall actively complement the center’s efforts to assist repatriated migrants from Malaysia together with the inter-agency task force which includes the Zamboanga City and Tawi-Tawi local government units, the Departments of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Health (DOH), and Foreign Affairs (DFA), the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), National Statistics Office (NSO), and others.

According to him, the one-stop processing center shall provide necessary services/assistance to returning migrants as follows: a) issuance of passports to repatriated migrants for possible re-employment in Malaysia; b) speedy processing of birth certificates, NBI clearance, and passports courtesy of the NSO, NBI, and DFA; c) provision of skills for employment training by TESDA; d) provision of temporary shelter and transportation to deportees to their places of origin; e) medical services by the DOH; f) as necessary, quarantine by the BID; and g) as importantly, OWWA membership processing for OFWs who will be returning to their jobs in Malaysia.

“The President had indicated the need to set up and push on ahead with the assistance operations of these DOLE-led one-stop processing centers at Zamboanga City and Tawi-Tawi to alleviate the plight of the migrants from Malaysia,” Imson said.

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