SENATE OKs PACQUIAO’S OFW HANDBOOK BILL

Sen. Manny Pacquiao's bill mandating the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) to publish, disseminate and update a handbook on the rights and responsibilities of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) is passed on second reading.

Senate Bill 192 seeks to provide migrant workers with a handbook that contains pertinent information, which can help them address their problems and concerns. The handbook aims to serve as their ready reference if and when they need to assert their rights as overseas employees. It will be written in simple language with translation in native dialects that the OFWs can readily understand.

Sen. Pacquiao hopes the measure can help end the country's problem on human trafficking, noting that many OFWs, who are unaware of their rights, fall victim to the crime.

The neophyte senator is a known advocate of the rights and welfare of migrant workers and the cause of human trafficking victims.

In 2010, he declared an all-out war against human trafficking, sending a clear message that Filipinos are not for sale. He supported legislations that combat the so-called modern-day slavery. He consequently urged his colleagues to join the crusade and put a stop to the anomaly.

Shortly after, the government heeded his call for action, highlighted by the prosecution and conviction of human trafficking offenders. This accomplishment caused the United States government to remove the Philippines from its Tier 2 Watch List in 2011.

He was also instrumental in the passage of the expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2012 (RA 10364). Pacquiao, together with former Reps. Walden Bello and Mel Senen Sarmiento, championed the measure that strengthens the State's policies in ending all forms of human trafficking during the previous Congress.

Despite this milestone, Pacquiao still vows to continue campaigning for the protection of the interest of migrant workers. He assures them that he will tirelessly fight for their welfare at all costs.

Source: Senate of the Philippines

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