THE government, through the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), continues to be responsive to the mushrooming needs of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) across the world.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter S. Cayetano, a former member of the Philippine Senate, issued the statement on the occasion of last Thursday’s “Filipino Migrant Workers’ Day.”
“We cannot just say we care for our kababayans (countrymen) abroad. We must be able to demonstrate that we care enough for them,” according to the workaholic DFA secretary.
Admittedly, various quarters acknowledge that OFWs, whose multi-billion-dollar remittances help up the still struggling local economy, are among the country’s modern-day heroes.
Under the administration of President Rodrigo R. Duterte, concerned government offices and agencies continue to come up with pro-OFW pieces of legislation, measures and programs.
Specifically, Cayetano lauded Duterte and members of Congress for approving the increase in the “Assistance to Nationals” (ATN) Fund from P400 million last year to P1 billion in 2018.
“This generous gesture of the President and members of Congress has allowed us to help more of our distressed countrymen abroad,” said Cayetano.
Records show that during the first four months (January-April) of the year, the DFA’s Legal Assistance Fund benefited some 300 problematic OFWs in various parts of the globe.
“This is all in recognition of the hard work and sacrifice of our modern-day heroes,” added the highly-articulate Cayetano.
It is certainly heartening to know that the government has realized the importance of strengthening efforts to protect and promote the rights and welfare of our OFWs.
It’s a move in the right direction considering the still skyrocketing number of Filipinos seeking jobs overseas.