ILOILO City – Always transact with licensed local recruitment agencies, overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Western Visayas were told.
Transacting with licensed recruiters will ensure OFWs of their benefits and privileges should they encounter problems in their employment abroad.
Wilfreda Misterio, director of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) in Region 6, said this in her speech during the 2019 Migrant Workers Day celebration held at a mall in Pavia, Iloilo on June 6.
According to Misterio, OFWs will have a hard time going after their employers abroad in case problems arise. But they can ask help from their recruiters – the reason they have to make sure that their agencies are licensed.
“They are jointly and severely liable for violations of contracts by foreign employers. So if the foreign employer violates the contract, the local recruitment agencies will have to answer for it,” said Misterio.
The claims for unpaid salaries and other benefits can be facilitated with the help of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, National Labor Relations Commission, and OWWA, she added.
The regional director in her message underscored that “working abroad is not an easy feat.”
She said there are social costs in being far away from family and friends, going out of one’s comfort zone, and adjusting to new culture and climate, among others.
“We are very grateful to them in helping their families and in boosting the economy of the Philippines through the allotments and contributions received by their families back home,” Misterio said.
The celebration of the Migrant Workers Day – with the theme “Salamat sa Tapang, Sipag at Pagmamahal mo, Kabayan” – gathered more than 1,000 OFWs and their families who were treated to a half-day entertainment provided by the Philippine National Police Band, and raffle prizes courtesy of Sunlife Philippines, Philippine National Bank and Cebu Pacific Air. (With a report from PNA/PN)