LA TRINIDAD, BENGUET -- The Cordillera region is one in celebrating Migrant Workers Day, lauding the Filipino migrant workers who serve as modern day heroes.
The Migrant Workers' Day at the Benguet Sports Complex in Wangal, La Trinidad, Benguet was joined by Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and their dependents on Saturday.
Exequiel Ronie Guzman, Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)–CAR regional director said the region is one with the celebration of Migrant Workers’ Day, stating OFWs continue to help boost the country’s economy.
“Last year, the OFW collectively help in boosting the Philippines economy according to Bangko Central ng Pilipinas. OFW personal remittances both in cash and in kind reach US $28.1 billion, accounting 10 percent of the PH gross domestic product (GDP),” Guzman said.
Guzman added 24 years ago, a legislation was passed into law and since then, the country has been celebrating migrant workers day in commemoration of the signing of RA 8042 or the Migrant Workers Act of 1995.
“More than the passing of the law is the recognition of the modern day heroes, OFW to our country,” his message added.
OFWs, the regional director said are heroes for giving their valuable time that could have been spent in helping aging parents, or allotted to witness the milestone of their children.
Guzman added the route to greener pasture comes with risk including being forgotten and risk in their health for working longer hours.
In a message from DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello, he said the celebration of the workers day pay tribute and give thanks to OFWs who courageously stand the challenges of OFW employment.
Bello added the government will soon establish and operationalize hospital dedicated to them.
Manuela Peña, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA)-CAR regional director said there are some 48,000 OFWs from the Cordillera based from the Philippine Statistics Office data.
OWWA also estimated 30,000 to 35,000 active and inactive migrant workers in the region from the 2.3 million documented, undocumented, active and inactive OFWs in the country.
Peña reminded migrant workers to renew their membership for US $25 valid for two years to enjoy the developmental programs of the agency.
On Saturday, the Migrant workers day observe OFW livelihood fair, government booths, cultural presentations including a food preparation and cooking competition and awarding of certificates to beneficiaries of programs and services of OWWA.