The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines – Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People (CBCP-ECMI) has lauded the efforts of the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte to attend to the welfare of the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).
Bishop Ruperto Santos, head of the CBCP-ECMI, on July 19, 2019, said that during its first three years, the administration has shown its concern to protect the Filipino migrant workers.
He noted that among the issues resolved by the President are the “tanim bala” incidents at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, the charging of PHP550 terminal fee, the cases of illegal opening of luggage, and extortion.
“For us at the CBCP-ECMI, we give credit to the administration because with his [President Duterte] administration our OFWs feel that they are protected, taken care of and appreciated,” he said in an interview over Church-run Radio Veritas.
With this, the Balanga bishop is hoping that Duterte will prioritize the welfare of the Filipinos during his 4th State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 22, 2019.
He added that the government should create more jobs so that the people will no longer seek employment abroad since some of them suffer from abuse.
“The SONA should speak about ‘Filipino first’, that is to create jobs here so that our countrymen will never be forced to go abroad to work and give priority to our Filipino to work here in our own country,” Santos said.
The CBCP-ECMI chairman also asked the President to take a stand for the country and to provide livelihood to the public to be able to solve poverty. “Raise up the flag. Create jobs which are stable and secured, humane and dignified,” he said.
“Let our people live safely and at peace, so promote and protect our people and our lands because to protect is to safeguard them from destruction and from death,” Santos added.
The CBCP-ECMI has expressed support to Duterte’s plan to create an OFW Department, which they believe would specifically address the concerns of migrant workers. (Ferdinand Patinio, PNA)