Coordinated services for OFWs lobbied

Mary Ruth R. Malinao (The Freeman) - April 18, 2021 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Cebu City Councilor Alvin Dizon has proposed an ordinance providing for coordinated quality services for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) of the city.

The proposed measure was referred to the Committee on Laws, Ordinances, and Styling for review.

“The plight of OFWs from Cebu City, especially our women migrant workers, is better protected by gender-sensitive labor migration governance and 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,” read the proposed ordinance.

“The City Government of Cebu deems it proper to provide a system and mechanism within the local government to strengthen coordination among frontline service delivery providers both at the local and national level and increase access to quality services to respond to the issues and needs of OFWs especially women migrant workers who are victims of gender-based violence,” it added.

Section 3 provides there shall be created an OFW Help Desk and Coordinating Body (OFW Desk) in the city composed of representatives or officers from the Department of Social Welfare and Services; Department of Manpower Development and Placement or Public Service Employment Office (PESO); City Legal Department; City Health Department, among others.

The OFW Desk shall promote the welfare and well-being of OFWs and their families; collate all programs and services of both local and national government agencies intended for OFWs especially for women migrant workers;

Coordinate the services of the 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), Philippines Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), for the promotion, protection, and enhancement of the rights and welfare of OFWs and their families.

Section 5 states the DMDP shall be the office responsible for managing the day-to-day activities of the OFW Desk.

Every 18th of December, the city government, with the participation of the barangays, national and local government departments and agencies, the academe, non-government organizations, private sector, among others, shall observe the International Migrants Day.

This is to raise awareness about the complexities and challenges of global migration and to constantly reaffirm the city’s commitment to safe and dignified migration for all especially at this time of pandemic when the plight of migrants has been brought at the forefront.

Section 7 states, once approved, there shall be  appropriated a yearly amount of P5 million to be charged against the general fund for the OFWs’ support fund for programs and services intended for the sector such as for livelihood, health, police and justice, social protection, and empowerment. — KQD (FREEMAN)

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