Marcos Jr.: Government preparing more programs for OFWs

The Philippine Star
Marcos Jr.: Government preparing more programs for OFWs
President Marcos leads the celebration of the Overseas Filipino Workers’ Family Day 2023 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City yesterday.
KJ Rosales

MANILA, Philippines —  Various programs intended to support overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are being prepared on top of existing projects to help them maintain their livelihoods and care for their families while they are away, President Marcos said yesterday.

Speaking during the OFW Grand Family Day in Pasay City, Marcos acknowledged the contributions of the country’s OFWs, who have been sending money to relatives back home for decades, which in turn helped improve the Philippine economy.

“We have many queued projects, and we are improving current projects for you. I am hoping you would make the most out of them and use these benefits correctly,” Marcos said, stressing the existence of livelihood programs to help OFWs start anew after the pandemic.

The President noted several programs OFWs should seek out if they wish to return home and stay for good with their families, including livelihood assistance programs, financial and management training, enterprise loans and other financial assistance programs.

“While you work hard overseas for a better life for your family, we are working as hard to help the country prosper so that when you return, you can see the big improvements here in the Philippines,” Marcos said.

Germany eases migration requirements

The German embassy in Manila also said yesterday that Germany began the implementation of the Skilled Migration Act last month.

The new legislation will introduce novel channels for skilled workers from countries outside the European Union – including the Philippines – to immigrate to Germany.

“This law creates even better incentives for Filipino skilled workers to consider working in Germany,” said German embassy’s Economic Counsellor David Klebs.

Since last month, notable enhancements for skilled workers from non-EU countries have been put in place. For those with higher education qualifications, immigration possibilities are broadened through the EU Blue Card, featuring lowered salary thresholds, expanded eligibility, an extended list of professions and facilitated family reunification.

The embassy said IT specialists can secure an EU Blue Card based on professional experience alone, without a formal qualification. The Act ensures that skilled workers with professional or academic training are entitled to a residence permit, provided all requirements are met.

Those with completed professional qualifications or higher education can engage in any qualified employment within the non-regulated sector, and the connection between training and employment is no longer mandatory.

Klebs highlighted the excellent working and living conditions, equal pay, full health insurance and legal access to permanent residence and citizenship.

He emphasized the family-friendly policies, joint government and company-run programs and the positive impact on the Filipino workforce in terms of remittances, work experience and skills development.

The embassy said the employment process for drivers is also streamlined, noting that “these amendments mark a pivotal moment in Germany’s commitment to fostering inclusive immigration and strengthening ties with skilled workers from around the globe.”

With the Skilled Migration Act, the embassy said the migration process is also made much easier.

Georg Leube of the German embassy visa department explained that the Act simplifies immigration for skilled workers with vocational training and practical knowledge.

It also introduces new provisions for the EU Blue Card visa, facilitating work migration, especially for highly qualified workers in MINT (mathematics, information technology, natural sciences and technology) professions and medical doctors.

He also pointed out the significance of health care workers, highlighting new provisions for assistants in nursing recognized in Germany that also enhances the Triple Win program.

The embassy is working closely with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, Commission on Higher Education and the Department of Migrant Workers to ensure that immigration is fair and sustainable with a high standard of protection and equality for Filipinos starting to work in Germany. –  Pia Lee-Brago

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