Saturday, December 12, 2009

Safety nets for OFWs pushed

Original Story:

Sen. Manny Villar urged the government, through the labor and employment authorities to put in place permanent and proactive contingency measures involving so-called safety nets for returning Overseas Filipino Workers, or OFWs, a press release from his office said yesterday.

“I notice that we only act when there is a problem or crisis already. We should be proactive not reactive. At any given time, there are OFWs that need assistance, thus our efforts should be non-stop. Our support should also be speedy and should not get caught up in red tape,” Villar said.

Villar said many parts of the world are experiencing economic slowdown and some form of financial crisis, from the Middle East to the United States , so OFW's jobs are not secure anywhere in the world.

The country should always be prepared with alternative employment for OFWs, because they have been instrumental in propping up its economy, year in year out through their remittances. It is but fair to extend support to them when they need it, Villar said.

Villar has been pushing for an efficient reintegration plan for repatriated or returning OFWs.

He earlier filed the Overseas Filipino Investment Bill or Senate Bill 635, which seeks to promote the reintegration of OFWs in the Philippine society.

The measure will helping them save, invest and engage in business ventures that would translate their hard-earned money into economic gains of the country and to create a new generation of overseas Filipino investors, or OFIs, the press release said.

Villar's bill proposes the issuance of short and long-term OFI bonds by government banks, provision of government financial institutions of credit facilities for OFIs, and the allocation of 10 percent of the total equity of governments existing businesses or enterprises for OFIs and their families.

Villar said local governments should conduct as many job fairs and forums as possible to bring together the private sector and job applicants in communities.

It is also important to support the growth of small businesses and entrepreneurs, Villar said in the press release.*

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