The Department of Labor and Employment and the Provincial Government of Bulacan last week signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) on the implementation of the government’s Anti-Illegal Recruitment and Trafficking in Persons (AIR-TIP) Campaign, establishing a platform for the campaign in the barangay level, Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz announced yesterday.

 

“The MOA signed last week between the DOLE and several of its agencies and the Provincial Government of Bulacan covers all the province’s local government units in three component cities and 21 municipalities,” said Baldoz, who was briefed about the MOA by Philippine Overseas Employment Administration chief Hans Leo J. Cacdac.

 

The agreement, established pursuant to Administrative Order No. 157, Series of 2013, otherwise known as the “We Serve OFWs Convergence Program: Samasama sa Paglilingkod Para sa OFW”, was inked at the Hiyas Pavilion, HBCC, City of Malolos.

 

DOLE Regional Office No. 3 Director Ana C. Dione said the MOA was a strategy involving the convergence programs of different DOLE agencies in enhancing the empowerment and protection of the public and migrant workers, and optimizing limited resources of government.

 

The POEA’s AIR-TIP, RD Dione said, is geared towards curtailing recruitment malpractices–illegal recruitment and trafficking in persons–which affect labor mobility and prey on the vulnerability of the public and migrant workers.

 

The DOLE agencies that signed the agreement were the DOLE-Regional Office No. 3, Philippine Overseas Employment Authority (POEA), Overseas Workers and Welfare Administration (OWWA), and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

 

Bulacan top officials who signed the agreement were Governor Wilhemino Sy-Alvarado, Vice Governor Daniel Fernando, Board Member Felix “Toti” Ople, Board Member Therese Cheryll Ople, and Provincial PESO Manager Elizabeth Alonzo.

 

POEA Administrator Cacdac, OWWA Administrator Rebecca Calzado, Regional Director Dione, TESDA Regional Director TeodoroGatchalian, OWWA Welfare Office Director Ma. Lourdes Reyes, and DOLE Bulacan Field Office head Nely Punzalan represented the DOLE in the MOA.

 

All local government chief executives and other officials from all city and municipal LGUs from Bulacan arrived in full-force to witness and support the event, together with 569 Barangay Training and Employment Coordinators (BTECs), City/Municipal/School-based PESOs, as well as 48 officers/members of the Bulacan OFW Family Circle (OFC) Federation.

 

The BTECs serve as PESO counterparts at the barangay level which will cascade the latest labor market information, specifically employment and livelihood programs of the DOLE and PESO, at the grassroots level.

 

The Bulacan OFW Family Circle Federation, on the other hand, shall represent all OFW Family Circles operating in all cities and municipalities within the province to discuss with government all OFW-related matters.

 

All 569 BTECs and duly-elected officials of the Bulacan OFC Federation were sworn to their specific duties and responsibilities by Bulacan Governor Sy-Alvarado who, in his message, lauded the BTECs and OFC Federation for their continued support to the AIR-TIP campaign, and whom he urged to fight any form of illegal recruitment in the province.

 

“Nagpapasalamat po ako sa ating mga BTECs at ang OFC Federation dahil sa kanilang dedikasyon sa pagtulong sa kanilang mga ka-barangay, lalo naangmga OFW dependents, upangmabigyan sila ng mga tama at napapanahong impormasyon tungkol sa mga programang pangtrabaho sa lokal at pang-ibayong dagat at samgaprogramangpangkabuhayanng DOLE,”

Sy-Alvarado said, adding:

 

“Tayo lamang po dito sa bansa ang merong ganitong ka-aktibong BTECs at OFCs. Naniniwala po ako na ito ay maaaring gawin din ng mga ibang LGUs. Dahil po sa ating pagsasanib-pwersa, sa pamamagitan ng MOA na linagdaan po natin ngayong araw na ito, kaya natingsugpuinanganomangklaseng illegal recruitment at magbigay ng kaukulang proteksyon sa ating mga manggagawa. Ito rin ay magdudulot ng mas maraming investors na magnananis mamuhunan dito sa ating lalawigan at magbibigay ng mas maraming patrabaho para sa ating mga kapwa Bulakenyo.”

 

Governor Sy-Alvarado also took the opportunity to thank all DOLE-agencies for their utmost support in the province’s fight against illegal recruitment and human-trafficking.

 

“Nagpapasalamat po kami sa iba’t ibang ahensya ng DOLE, sa pamumuno ng Kalihim ng Paggawa at Empleyo na si Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz, sa suporta at tamang paggabay sa aming mga PESOs, BTECs, at OFCs upang matulungan namin ang aming mga kababayan upang hindi sila mabiktima ng ano mang klaseng illegal recruitment at human trafficking dito sa aming lalawigan. Asahan po din ninyo ang aming suporta sa inyong mga programa,”

Sy-Alvarado said.

 

POEA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac, who pitched in for Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz, commended the efforts of the Provincial Government in spearheading its strong AIR-TIP Campaign in the province.

 

“In 2012, you were hailed as one of the DOLE’s and POEA’s Best Partners in the AIR-TIP Campaign. Today, we reach another momentous milestone in our noble campaign as we sign this MOA anew to further strengthen our commitment in our fight against any form of illegal recruitment, especially trafficking in persons, with the help of our ever hard working BTECs and OFCs in bridging our programs through our AIR-TIP campaign in the grassroots,” Cacdac said.

 

“Secretary Baldoz is currently in talks with other government leaders all over the world and has urged them to protect our OFWs because they are hard-working and one of the best assets of this great nation. We continue to bring forth our programs overseas to further capacitate our OFWs as productive individuals by providing them additional skills training, assessment, and certification through the TESDA,” he added.

 

Cacdac expressed thanks to Governor Alvarado, as well as to the Bulacan LGUs in for being POEA’s faithful partners in the AIR-TIP Campaign.

 

“Kailangan po nating palaganapin ang malasakit sa ating mga kababayan, labanan natin ang ano mang klaseng illegal recruitment, at maging mapagmasid at matalino, at huwag magpaloko sa mga illegal recruiter,”

he said.

 

BTEC Snooky Villanueva from Hagonoy, Bulacan, on behalf of her fellow BTECs, committed their utmost support and cooperation in cascading the different DOLE programs in the barangay level.

 

“Kami po ay nagpapasalamat sa mga iba’t ibang ahensya ng DOLE at sa Pamahalaang Panlalawigan ng Bulacan na maging katuwang namin sila sa pagtulong sa aming mga ka-barangay at kapwa Bulakenyo upang ibahagi ang mga napapanahong impormasyon hingil sa mga programang patrabaho, lalung-lalo na po para sa mga kababayan naming mga OFW,”

Villanueva said.

 

“Umasa po kayo na kami ay susuporta sa magandang layunin ng gobyerno na mapanatiliing ligtas ang aming mga kababayan upang hindi sila mabiktima ng illegal recruitment o human trafficking.”

 

END/Jerry Borja

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