OFW Handbook bill nears House approval

THE overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) will soon be guided by a handbook containing their rights and responsibilities.

House Bill 8110, which mandates the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) to develop, publish, disseminate, and update a handbook on the rights and responsibilities of migrant workers, was approved on second hearing.

The proposed “Handbook for OFWs Act of 2018”  aims to empower OFWs by making them fully aware of their rights and responsibilities.

Among the objectives of the bill are to complement the worker education program of various agencies; provide basic information on the labor and living conditions in the country of the OFWs’ destination;  make OFWs well aware of the benefits and drawbacks of working overseas; and  provide necessary information for their reintegration into Philippine society.
 
The bill seeks to amend Republic Act 8042 or the “Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipino Act of 1995” to institute the policies of overseas employment and establish a higher standard of protection and promotion of the welfare of migrant workers, their families and overseas Filipinos in distress.
 
The amendment mandates the POEA to “provide every land-based and sea-based worker with a handbook free of charge, which shall serve as a ready reference when they need to assert their rights and responsibilities, as stipulated by Philippine laws and the existing labor and social laws of the countries of destination.”