Measure to help OFWs in Cebu City pushed

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | April 17,2021 - 11:32 AM
OFWs' help desk. Cebu City Councilor Alvin Dizon is pushing for a coordinated quality service to OFWs ordinance in Cebu City.

Cebu City Councilor Alvin Dizon | CDN Digital File Photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City Councilor Alvin Dizon is pushing for a coordinated quality service for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in the city.

Dizon said that for several years there have been many reports and documented cases of the migrant workers, who were mostly women, having become victims of discrimination, exploitation, and various forms of abuse not just by their employers but also by some “unscrupulous state actors” who had taken advantage of the weakness of position of these migrant workers especially the undocumented ones.

“The plight OFWs from Cebu City, especially women migrant workers, is better protected by gender-sensitive labor migration governance and the existence of a comprehensive, well-coordinated and responsive quality services of frontline agencies at the local level in collaboration with other stakeholders such as non-government organizations who are advocating for doing legal, developmental and advocacy work for the sector,” he said.

Under the proposed ordinance, an Overseas Filipino Workers Help Desk and Coordinating Body (OFW Desk) in the city will be created composed of representatives from the Department of Social Welfare and Services (DSWS), Department of Manpower and Development and Placement (DMDP), Public Service Employment Office (PESO), City Legal Department, City Health Department, Cebu City Women’s and Family Affairs Commission, and Cebu City Inter Agency Council Against Trafficking (CCIACAT).

The OFW Desk is tasked to coordinate the services of the Cebu City government and its relevant departments, and establish clear referral procedures with and among that of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) for the promotion, protection and enhancement of the rights and welfare of OFWs and their families

They will collate all programs and services of both local and national government agencies intended for OFWs especially for women migrant workers so as to come up with a menu of programs and directory for easy reference of the OFW constituents of Cebu City;.

They are also tasked to collaborate and foster linkages with various sectors aside from the national government agencies, particularly civil society organizations, church, media, academe, NGOs and POs, Gender and Development (GAD) focal persons in the barangays, among others, that are doing advocacy and development work on migration issues and OFWs especially women migrant workers.

The OFW Desk will set up and maintain an electronic database of information about OFWs residing in Cebu City, organized and sorted into relevant classifications, and such other related information and data that are important in supporting the continuous improvement of services and programs.

This will become the basis for the services of the OFWs that will include legal assistance, welfare assistance, pre-departure assistance, reintegration upon return.

The proposed ordinance also sets 18th day of December of every year as International Migrants Day to raise awareness about the complexities of global migration and to constantly reaffirm the city’s commitment to safe and dignified migration for all especially at this time of the pandemic when the plight of our migrants has been brought at the forefront.

The ordinance also states that a P5 million budget may be allocated to fund the services of the OFW Desk.

Dizon said the ordinance was still with the committee on laws and he hoped that the council would find the necessity to assist OFWs to ensure a safer migration for them.

/dbs

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TAGS: Cebu City Councilor Alvin Dizon, Coordinated Quality Service for OFWs, OFWs

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