Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday assured OFW Gloria D. Ortinez that the Department of Labor and Employment’s Philippine Overseas Employment Administration will provide her re-employment assistance depending on her plan or next move after her bad experience as a victim of the ‘tanim-bala’ scheme.
“If she decides to work abroad again, the POEA will facilitate her re-employment. In fact, Administrator Hans Cacdac of the POEA is already looking for work for her overseas,” Baldoz explained, adding that this option was already discussed before OFW Ortinez returned to Hong Kong to talk to her employer because at that time, hopes were still high that she can still return to her employer once a meeting with her is arranged.
The Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Hong Kong arranged a one-on-one meeting between OFW Ortinez and Mr. Oi Ling Chin, the employer.
Administrator Cacdac said the POEA can enrol OFW Ortinez, if she wants to continue working as domestic worker, to the International Direct Employment Service, or I-DES, the Special Hiring Program for Taiwan, a government-to-government online hiring scheme for OFWs wanting to work in Taiwan which serves as an alternative to agency hiring and brokers.
Cacdac further said licensed recruitment agencies are already lined up to interview her for a possible new overseas job.
If OFW Ortinez will opt to stay and work in the Philippines, Baldoz said the Bureau of Local Employment will also help in facilitating her local employment depending on her inclination and qualifications.
Secretary Baldoz also explained that the OWWA can and will provide OFW Ortinez other forms of support under the National Reintegration Program for OFWs. Such support could include training on financial literacy, entrepreneurship, or technical skills upgrading or development, depending on her decision to have such self-capacity or her need.
After her training, which will be only a week at the most, OFW Ortinez can engage in business and avail of the Balik-Pinay Balik Hanapbuhay entrepreneurship assistance which come in the form of home-based business starter kit, tools, and jigs. The same is offered by the National Reintegration Program for OFWs under its Balik-Pinas Balik Hanapbuhay Program.
She can also avail of a low-interest, long-repayment loan from the Landbank of the Philippines under the OWWA’s P2-Billion National Reintegration Loan Fund for OFW entrepreneurs, if that is her desire, she being an OWWA member.
The 56-year old OFW, a native of Ilocos Norte, has been working in Hong Kong for about 30 years. Her return to Hong Kong was stalled when she became a victim of ‘laglag-bala’ at the NAIA. She was eventually acquitted by the Pasay City Prosecutor’s Office but upon return to Hong Kong, she found out that her employer has terminated her despite a communication from the Philippine Overseas Labor Office requesting the employer to give OFW Ortinez time and consideration to return to Hong Kong. Her employer had also paid her termination and other benefits of HK$18,000.
The Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Hong Kong said it will ship to Manila the personal effects of OFW Ortinez, although she still has 14 days to stay there.