MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine government should not be complacent with just certifying countries deemed safe for Filipino workers to work in.
“The more countries our government certifies as OFW-safe destinations, the better it be prepared to address contingencies that may face our OFWs," said Sen. Loren Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.
To date, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has certified a total of 184 countries found to be compliant with the guarantees on the protection of the rights of foreign workers provided under Section 2 of Republic Act 10022, the Amended Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act.
“These countries may have progressive migrant-labor policies, but at the end of the day, the responsibility of our government is not diminished by the presence of favorable policies in the host country,” Legarda pointed out.
Legarda added that the government must also be in the lookout for “unscrupulous recruiters that might use these certified countries as staging grounds for the deployment of workers to countries covered by deployment ban."
She added that she will be reviewing the government’s level of preparedness in addressing contingencies or crisis that may face OFWs.
“The upcoming budget hearing will provide an opportunity to examine the programs and services, including contingency plans, of government to address the needs of our growing overseas Filipino community. I will certainly look into this,” she said.