Returning OFWs can work under 'Build, Build, Build': Palace

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 26 2020 03:58 PM

Repatriated overseas Filipino workers (OFW) wait in line at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 2 in Pasay City on May 25, 2020. The balikbayans are scheduled to take their flights to their respective home provinces after undergoing mandatory quarantine in Manila. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Overseas Filipino workers who have to return to the Philippines due to the coronavirus crisis can find work under the government's Build, Build, Build infrastructure program, Malacañang said Tuesday.

The Philippines needs more workers as it reopens its economy, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said, noting that the government is looking to hold a job fair.

"Magkakaroon po tayo ng job fair especially targeting the OFWs dahil kailangan po natin sila," he said in a Palace press briefing.

(We will have a job fair especially targeting the OFWs because we need them.)

"Ngayong nandito na sila sa bayan natin at kulang na kulang po talaga ang mga construction workers dahil marami ang nagsisipag-abroad," he added.

(Now that they are here, we really need construction workers because many are going abroad.)

Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Chua previously said the Build, Build, Build program would be recalibrated to prioritize projects that will have a bigger impact on the economy and job creation.

Roque added that different government agencies such as the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration and the Department of Labor and Employment have been providing repatriated OFWs with assistance.

The labor department earlier said that it would give cash aid of $200 (P10,000) to OFWs who were left jobless by the pandemic.

The government is expecting some 300,000 Filipino migrant workers to return to the Philippines this year as the coronavirus crisis upended economies worldwide.

The influx of returning OFWs is expected to make a dent on the Philippine economy as cash remittances serve as a lifeline for many families.

In 2019, cash remittances from OFWs hit a record P1.5 trillion ($30 billion), helping drive consumption and strengthening the peso against the dollar.