Addressing migrant workers and their families at the Bantayog ng mga Bayani, Bello said the Duterte administration is bound by its vow to “create an environment that will generate enough decent and adequately compensated work for every Filipino in the country, so no one will seek overseas work as a matter of compulsion and necessity.”
“With the help of our partners we will ultimately work on creating sustainable local jobs to end the cycle of forced migration,” he added.
At the same time, Bello said the government is cognizant of the help of the group Migrante extended toFilipino workers overseas.
“This government acknowledges the great contribution and unwavering dedication of Migrante in ensuring that the fundamental rights of our overseas Filipino workers and their dignity are upheld. We therefore consider you as a partner of government in looking after the welfare of our modern day heroes while they sacrifice on foreign soil,” Bello said during the organization’s observance of International Migrants Day and the group’s 20th anniversary.
Bello said DOLE has prioritized the implementation of OFW welfare and protection programs, such as the repatriation of distressed workers in Saudi through the ‘Bring them Home’ mission which benefited more than 10,000 displaced OFWs affected by Middle East oil crisis.
DOLE, through the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, has also intensified its drive on anti-illegal recruitment and trafficking in persons by providing legal assistance to victims of illegal recruitment; as well as in clamping down illegal recruiters and agencies, and in informing and educating OFWs on how not to be victimized by illegal recruitment.
“We have also set-up the DOLE 24/7 Hotline 1349 to help local and overseas Filipino workers to report to DOLE or ask assistance about employees’ rights and benefits, working conditions, wages, illegal recruitment, child labor, 'endo' and other illegitimate forms contractualization; violations on general labor and occupational safety and health standards; labor relations, and post-employment issues,” Bello said.
Since July this year, POEA has conducted 26 sessions on Anti-Illegal Recruitment Seminars which was attended by 2,133 participants, as well as signed 49 Memorandum of Understanding on anti-illegal recruitment campaign with government agencies and private organizations.
Bello also ordered for the strengthening of operations and services of Assist WELL Centers to help returning OFWs, especially those who were displaced due to crisis.
Assist WELL’, which stands for ‘Welfare, Employment, Legal, and Livelihood’ is a reintegration assistance or services program that looks into the OFWs’ reintegration needs after their repatriation, especially due to emergency or crisis situations. ###