Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Philippines readies jobs for displaced overseas workers

PGMA orders DOLE to prepare for deployment displaced Filipino workers overseas

MANAMA, Bahrain (via PLDT) – President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo directed today the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to spearhead the “simple and not complicated” implementation of the programs for the displaced Filipino workers abroad.

During her meeting, this was the marching order of the President to Labor Secretary Marianito Roque this morning with the Filipino community at the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh.

The President arrived in Riyadh from Milan, Italy last night after attending the 2009 World Economic Forum (WFF) in Davos, Switzerland to check the working and living conditions of the more than one million overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

“Nandito si Secretary Roque ng DOLE, inatasan ko siya na tiyakin na ang mga reglamento at proseso para makaabot sa pondong ito ay simple at hindi complicated. Huwag nating pahirapan pa (expatriated Filipinos) sa pamamagitan ng maraming red tape,” the President said.

The President said that the DOLE and the Overseas Workers and Welfare Administration (OWWA) will spearhead the implementation of the government programs for displaced expatriate Filipino workers.

She said it is now the payback time for the heroic efforts of the expatriate workers so, that adding these efforts will not go unreciprocated.

“Sa panahong ito na nagdadaang mga pagsubok and expatriates, ang inyong pamahalaan ay hindi natutulog, “ the President said, adding that the government has a program of full reciprocity to help OFWs who lost their jobs.

The President also directed the DOLE and OWWA to coordinate with the agencies involved in the livelihood assistance programs of the government such as the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Agriculture (DA).

She explained that the initial allocation of P1 billion will be allotted for livelihood support for displaced OFWs. The fund will be sourced out from the OWWA and government lending institutions like the Development Bank of the Philippines and the Land Bank of the Philippines.

This fund, she said, will be utilized to finance the small businesses to be established by the displaced Filipino workers and for their re-training.

She also said that the DOLE and OWWA will create “help desks” in the provinces assist Filipino workers.

AT the same time, the government is now conducting an on-line information drive thru the phil-job.net to help Filipino expatriate workers search job and employment opportunities via internet.

“Kaya nating pondohan lahat nitong mga programa dahil kung ihahambing sa maraming ibang bansa, ang Pilipinas ay nananatiling “island of stability in an otherwise stormy global sea of economic troubles,” she said.

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