LONDON – Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Sec. Silvestre Bello III encouraged Filipino migrant workers to return home to the Philippines.
He made the call in his speech at the Migrant Workers’ Day 2022 organized by the Philippine Overseas Labor Office – Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (POLO-OWWA) here on June 1.
While he lauded the contribution of the Overseas Filipino Workers to the Philippine economy and to their families, Bello hoped that workers would decide to go home and the department will be ready to assist them.
“Talagang kahanga-hanga kayong mga OFW. Pero umuwi na kayo. Bumalik na po kayo sa Pilipinas,” he said.
According to DOLE’s website, migrant workers can avail of reintegration services, a package of interventions and mechanisms to aid their return to the country upon completion of overseas employment through local employment or re-employment and entrepreneurship.
DOLE’s assistance includes capacity building, financial literacy, livelihood skills training and financial grants.
“Bring back the bacon to the country. Bumalik na po kayo,” Bello reiterated his appeal in a press interview during his London visit.
However, for those who continue to work and seek jobs outside the Philippines, Bello emphasized that the department will continue to promote employment opportunities and protect the welfare of Filipino workers.
During the celebration of Migrant Workers’ Day, Bello, together with OWWA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac and other officials from DOLE and the Philippine Embassy, also awarded certificates to the graduates of various skills training organized by POLO-OWWA London.
Prior to attending the gathering of migrant workers, Bello also forged a memorandum of agreement with seafarer groups that aims to support the education and upskilling of Filipino seafarers.
“Malaking bagay ito dahil in the world, number one ang Filipino seafarers. Aside from being number one, lalong madaragdagan ang kanilang skills, ma-upgrade sila,” he said.
When asked about his greatest achievement as the outgoing secretary, Sec. Bello credited President Rodrigo Duterte for all the accomplishments of his department.
“To my mind, ang pinakamagandang legacy ng ating Pangulo sa labor sector is yung industrial peace. Nagkaroon ng pagkakaintindihan sa pagitan ng mga manggagawa at mga employers o management. Hindi naman perfect pero at least nagkaroon tayo ng katahimikan sa larangan ng paggawa,” he said during an interview with ABS-CBN News.
Bello is also confident with the incoming DOLE Sec. Bienvenido Laguesma, who started his career in DOLE under former President Ferdinand Marcos and led the department during the term of former President Joseph Estrada.
Bello extended his gratitude again to all the migrant workers and assured them of the department’s continued service to the Philippines’ modern-day heroes.