Press Release
May 7, 2018


Senator Sonny Angara has called on the government to come up with a clear reintegration plan that would ensure job and livelihood opportunities for returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from Kuwait.

"There is no better way to encourage OFWs in Kuwait to return than an assurance that they will have great opportunities here--that they will not end up unemployed or underemployed back home. Bukod sa pagsiguro sa kanilang kaligtasan, dapat ay may trabaho at tulong pangkabuhayan na naghihintay para sa kanila," said Angara, vice chairman of the labor committee.

Angara is the sponsor of Republic Act 10801 or the law strengthening the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), which made OFW reintegration one of the core programs of OWWA.

Under the law, at least 10% of the contributions of its OFW members--called the OWWA Fund--should be used for the reintegration program every year to help OFWs who lost their jobs or those who decided to return.

Such program includes employment and livelihood training, access to credit, and grant money to start their own business, as well as financial literacy and techno-skills training, business counseling, and job referrals.

This year, of the P2.876 billion total budget of OWWA, P376 million was allocated for reintegration services.

"We urge the OWWA to raise this amount, if necessary, in order to extend the much needed assistance to our returning OFWs especially those who came from Kuwait," Angara said.

President Rodrigo Duterte has recently made an appeal to Filipino workers in Kuwait, mostly to the domestic workers, to return to the Philippines amid the diplomatic row between the two countries.

"Ginawa nating core program ang OFW reintegration sa bagong OWWA Law dahil layunin nating hikayatin sila na bumalik ng bansa at dito mamuhay nang maginhawa at ligtas sa pangaabuso kasama ang kanilang mga pamilya. We can only achieve this if we improve the country's capacity to absorb the growing Filipino labor force, and complement the Build, Build, Build with a Jobs, Jobs, Jobs program," Angara said.

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