As the new administration kicks in, hopes and promises are in the streamline. A government of the people, by the people, and for the people is once again in the highlight of post-election discourses in the country.
Yet this time, we do not have any basis to evaluate the new president-elect but we have been overshadowed by its main government front line such as the prevention, if not termination, of bureaucratic corruption, fair administration of justice, and control of crimes and violence that stepped on to everyone’s human rights.
But a little of concern was heard for the OFWs…maybe for now we cannot discern it yet. But I am pretty sure the government will put us in the main priorities for human development most especially we are a significant contributor to economic development. But what are the OFWs trying to voice out to the Philippine government despite the geographical non-connection? I wanted to underscore these two concepts that the government can ameliorate its services to us: responsiveness and visibility.
First off, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) needs to improve their increased efficiency in responding executing their duties to uphold and promote the welfare of the OFWs.
It is equally important to let the OFWs afford the kind of social protection and educational training they need so as to be more efficient and competitive in the global labor force.
A competent Filipino worker in the world is a manifestation that they have received necessary help assistance form the mother country.
Secondly, Philippine consular offices around the world, though physically visible, must try to be more responsive to the needs of the OFWs most especially there are lots of our fellow OFWs who are suffering from physical, moral, and economic abuse while giving their countries to foreign lands.
What kind of assistance are the OFWs trying to forward to consular offices? Legal assistance. This is the reason why it is integral for the government to supplicate legal institutions in the consular offices in order to protect and promote constitutional, human, and civil rights protection of the OFWs.
Lastly, our government should not stop from having these institutions to cater our needs. We have to stop the stereotype that when we say OFWs, they are the persons who are very rich. That is not entirely true. This is the reason why it is also a serious call to the current government to provide better opportunities to the Filipinos most especially by providing jobs and reasonable pay.
We cannot blame the Filipino people if they sought to serve foreign land rather than in the country because they are also looking for opportunities and greener pasture to support their families.
I hope that the government now will streamline its national frontiers towards pro-people national agenda. What the Filipinos need in and out of the country is an efficient program of social services and increase in basic compensation rather than allocating majority of our national fund to military.
But since the Philippines is a country of migrant workers, the least that the government can do is to extend its services by being responsive and visible whenever an OFW needs any form of assistance.
After all, we are all Filipinos trying to help our fellow Filipinos and ultimately, our Motherland, the Philippines.
Let us all brace another roller-coaster ride of a six-year term of the new president of the country.
Change is really coming so let’s all unite, Overseas Filipinos!