A SENATOR has urged the government to work on the livelihood of returning Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
Senator Joel Villanueva called for an inventory of skills of OFWs being repatriated due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said the government should match the available talent with the existing demand of the labor market.
Villanueva said the government must activate interventions within its power to ensure that returning overseas workers can reintegrate smoothly in the labor market.
“Totoo pong malawakang repatriation po ang nangyayari ngayon bunsod ng pandemya. Ang mas mahalagang usapin ngayon ay kung anong interventions ang gagawin ng ating gobyerno,” said Villanueva.
He said OFWs should not become part of the unemployment statistics.
“Giving them P20,000 each simply would not cut it anymore,” added Villanueva, referring to cash aid programs that the government has been implementing for jobless OFWs and workers in the country.
He said the mass repatriation of OFWs also highlighted the urgency of a provision in the proposed Department of Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos (DMWOF), which is being deliberated in the Senate plenary.
One of the highlights of the proposed DMWOF is a full-cycle and comprehensive reintegration program for OFWs who have returned and are staying for good in the Philippines.
In previous interpellations on the bill, Villanueva maintained that the proposed new department’s mission was not to perpetuate the deployment of Filipinos as workers in other countries.