2 lawmakers want P1-B fund for distressed overseas workers
Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star) - July 5, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Two lawmakers have filed two bills seeking a special fund for distressed overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), including the payment of “blood money,” and the integration into one department of agencies involved in servicing OFWs.

Representatives Emmeline Aglipay of DIWA and Mark Villar of Las Piñas filed the bills “Distressed OFW Assistance Act of 2013” and the “Department of Overseas Filipino Workers Act of 2013” ahead of the convening of the 16th Congress next month. Aglipay’s bill seeks a P1-billion fund for the repatriation, medical expenses, hospitalization, and purchase of medicine in the form of vouchers six months from arrival for distressed OFWs.

The fund is also envisioned to help pay for migration fees for overstaying Filipinos; legal assistance including litigation expenses, legal fees, payment of translation fees, attendance in court hearings; basic necessities of OFWs caught in emergencies or are detained.

Under the bill, 30 percent of the total fund shall be allotted to provide monetary support in the form of lump sum payment not in excess of P50,000 for each recipient, or to OFWs who have been victims of abuse from their employers, or those who have been repatriated from host countries due to natural or man-made calamities.

Villar said the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration and other allied agencies could become more effective if they work under one department solely for OFWs.

He also proposed the establishment of an OFW assistance fund to guarantee support to all Filipinos working abroad in times of contingencies, including the payment of blood money, and the creation of programs to support the reintegration and well-being of returning migrant workers. 

AGLIPAY ASSISTANCE ACT DEPARTMENT OF OVERSEAS FILIPINO WORKERS ACT FUND MARK VILLAR OF LAS PI OFWS OVERSEAS PHILIPPINE OVERSEAS EMPLOYMENT ADMINISTRATION AND THE OVERSEAS WORKERS WELFARE ADMINISTRATION REPRESENTATIVES EMMELINE AGLIPAY
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