Press Release
December 8, 2018


Senator Sonny Angara has pushed for additional funding to boost programs and services aimed at providing overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) with faster and more accessible government services.

"The Senate will increase the budget of the Labor Department to improve its One-Stop Service Centers for OFWs to make government frontline services accessible to Filipinos who are currently working and planning to work abroad," said Angara, vice chairman of Senate finance committee tasked to sponsor the budget of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

Angara said additional P5 million will be allocated to ensure that the one-stop service centers for OFWs all over the country will be fully equipped and operational. To date, there are 18 one-stop centers for OFWs nationwide.

He said that augmenting the budget for frontline services for OFWs would further speed up the process for Filipinos looking to secure government-issued documents required for work abroad.

"Sa pamamagitan ng pagbibigay sa kanila ng mas mabilis na serbisyo ay maiibsan natin ang mga alalahanin at mapagagaan ang buhay ng tinatawag nating mga bagong bayani ng bayan," Angara pointed out.

Launched in 2016, the one-stop shop aims to make it easier for OFWs to avail of government services. It seeks to reduce their transportation expenses and shorten the processing time of their documents.

In 2017, such centers served more than 1.4 million OFWs. The centers consolidate the services of at least 14 government agencies, including the Department of Foreign Affairs, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, and Maritime Industry Authority.

The Senate will likewise allocate additional P100 million for the emergency repatriation program of DOLE.

"The additional funding would provide the department a standby fund for the repatriation of distressed OFWs in cases of outbreaks or crisis particularly in Middle East countries," the senator said.

Angara, however, stressed that aside from safely bringing OFWs back home, the government should ensure that decent jobs and livelihood opportunities are awaiting them here.

Angara is the sponsor of the new OWWA law or Republic Act 10801 that strengthened the government's capacity to assist OFWs who lost their jobs or those who decided to return to the Philippines by providing additional funding for OFW reintegration program, which includes free employment and livelihood training, access to credit, and grant money to start their own business.

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