Philippine labor officials hold town hall for OFWs in Los Angeles

Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 26 2019 08:12 AM

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III met with the Filipino community in Los Angeles, California on Friday to give updates on labor-related issues.

Bello was with Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Hans Leo Cacdac and Philippine Overseas Employment Administration’s Bernard Olalia.

“We’re looking forward to a good working relation between the president and the legislative body,” Bello said, referring to the midterm elections.

Among the issues mentioned during the townhall at the Philippine consulate was the reduction in certain work visas for US-bound Filipino workers, which Bello said shouldn't be a concern considering ongoing infrastructure initiatives.

“The President wants you back, that’s why he came up with this build build build infrastructure program,” he said, referring to President Rodrigo Duterte's infrastructure program.

Cacdac addressed the rising number of Filipinos diagnosed with the AIDS-causing HIV.

“Yes, there are OFWs afflicted with HIV, a certain number, many of them also are seafarers for the reason that they encounter many who are infected in different ports in other countries,” Cacdac said.

“The approach here is to coordinate overseas with the DFA [Department of Foreign Affairs] and also health authorities in the host countries in terms of treatment, number 1. And number 2, if they are ready to come home, coordination in terms of transport; and when they do come home, coordination with the DOH [Department of Health] in terms of facilities, public health facilities for the concerned OFWs and of course, support,” he said.

Bello told the community about a free health facility for OFWs. 

“Considering this will be servicing our OFWs for free, it will not only be a preventive but curative remedy for our overseas workers,” Bello said.

Bello also added that the labor department would have attaches in US, one the East Coast and one on the West Coast to address labor concerns.

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