An Iloilo board member yesterday pushed to institutionalize the province’s effort in helping overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) after concerns on the welfare of Filipino workers abroad were raised at the Task Force ‘Bulig Ilonggo’ help desk.
Iloilo 4th district Board Member Rolando Distura, vice chair of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan committee on labor and employment, said he will pass an ordinance for the province to continue to assist OFWs.
The Task Force ‘Bulig Ilonggo’ help desk established at the Iloilo Provincial Capitol lobby has received 10 concerns from families of OFW from Friday to Monday morning.
Although it was meant to assist distressed OFWs in Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, and other areas affected by the Iran and United States conflict, Distura said the help desk has also answered employment concerns.
“There were already 10 concerns from Ilonggos, but actually all of them are not related to the crisis in Lebanon, (but) on the concerns on their job placement. Some concerns are request for repatriation because of homesickness or they are not feeling well already,” Distura said.
He said the help desk is a “big help” to both OFWs and their families.
It works as a “one-stop-shop” as it involves the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, Department of Labor and Employment, among other concerned national government agencies.
Distura said four of them who sought assistance from the help desk were victims of illegal recruitment.
Also part of the effort of institutionalizing the assistance to OFWs is to utilize the Public Employment Services (PESO) offices in Iloilo towns.
The municipal PESOs will be responsible to communicate to the province the concerns on repatriation and illegal recruitment, among others. (PNA)