QC eyes center to help repatriated OFWs

MANILA A Quezon City government official said the city would support repatriated Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and their families through the establishment of an OFW Center.

In a radio interview on Monday, Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte said Tuesday the OFW Center would be the go-to place of repatriated OFWs residing in the city when they seek assistance about their family problems and livelihood support from the government.

This is one of my advocacies, to look after the welfare of OFWs who are from Quezon City, Belmonte said.

The center, she said, has yet to be established so she is calling on Mayor Herbert Bautista to execute the plan since an increasing number of OFWs are coming home because of President Rodrigo R. Duterte's repatriation program.

Pero kasi itong OFW Center hindi pa nai-implement. It requires the city mayor to implement, so sana mapatupad na natin (This OFW Center has not yet been implemented. It requires the city mayor to implement it, so hopefully we would be able to do that), Belmonte said.

The city council has approved the establishment of the OFW Center in the city years ago.

Belmonte also said that while the City Hall's Public Employment Services Office for OFWs provides services, OFWs face a deeper problem.

For example, the family suffers from the social cause of separation so the children are traumatized from being separated to their parents. There's also a problem of inability to invest the money that the parents sent them, she said.

Belmonte also underscored the OFWs' lack of financial literacy, which explains why they quickly lose their hard-earned money while working abroad.

Many OFWs go home and then they don't know how to use the money that they've saved. So naubos din. (Their funds get depleted.) They don't know how to invest properly, she said.

The vice mayor said the OFW Center can reach out and link up with different government agencies, such as the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration regarding OFW concerns.

Having said that, na wala pa 'yung center, so far hindi pa natin ma-treat 'yung mga OFWs as separate from our regular constituents, (since the center has not yet been established, we cannot treat the OFWs as separate from our regular constituents), unless of course the mayor decides to do something special to them, Belmonte said.

Source: Philippine News Agency

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