MANILA - The incoming chief of the Department of Migrant Workers said Sunday that President-elect Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, Jr. wants children of overseas Filipino workers and those who have decided to return home to be taken care of.
"Alagaan yung OFWs at yung pamilya. Mag-roll out kami ng programa. Kumonsulta ako sa mga spesyalista kung paano maalagaan din yung mga pamilya. At very concerned siya sa mga anak, yung mga anak na parehong magulang ang wala," DMW Secretary-designate Susan "Toots" Ople told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.
(He instructed us to take care of the OFWs and their families, and to roll out programs. I consulted with specialists on how to take care of the families of OFWs. And he is very concerned about the children, especially those whose mother and father are both abroad.)
"So we will work with the LGUs tungkol diyan, even sa (at the) barangay level," she continued.
Secondly, Marcos wants the DMW to help returning OFWs find jobs or business opportunities, said Ople.
"So, ang concern niya, hindi lang yung mga palabas, kundi yung pamilya na naiwan, at saka yung pabalik. Sabi nya, dapat meron tayong database din nung mga darating na OFWs para kung kunyari ikaw ay may-ari ng hotel, naghahanap ka nung very experienced na na chef, and kami alam namin uuwi si ganiyan from London... hindi na siya mahihirapan at hindi n rin mahihirapan 'yung gustong mag-hire sa kaniya," she said.
(So his concern is not only for those leaving, but also the families left behind and returning OFWs. He said we should have a database for returning OFWs so that if for example, a hotel here is looking a very experienced chef and we know that someone is arriving, let's say, from London, the returning OFW and his prospective employers would no longer have difficulty.)
Ople said the effective reintegration of returning OFWs is among the aspirations of Marcos.
"Bilin ni President Marcos 'yun na kung alam natin kung ilan ang umaalis, dapat din ng bansa natin kung ilan ang bumabalik at ano yung mga occupations at pati ano yung mga pangarap nila para masuportahan," she said.
(President-elect Marcos issued an instruction that if we know how many are leaving, the country should also know how many are coming home, their occupation, and their dreams so government can support them.)
Outgoing Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III recently encouraged Filipino migrant workers to return home even as he assured those who continue to work and seek jobs outside the country that the government will continue to promote employment opportunities and protect their welfare.
Millions of migrant Filipino workers are spread all over the world, remitting $2.59 billion in March 2022 through banks, according to the the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.
On a year-to-date basis, cash remittances hit $7.77 billion in the first quarter, up 2.4 percent compared to a year ago, the central bank said.
Personal remittances, meanwhile, rose by 3.1 percent to $2.8 billion in March, which brought the first quarter level to $8.6 billion, the BSP said.