Leni Robredo on the plight of OFWs

It was a close race, but Leni Robredo won as Vice President. What does this mean for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) like you? For a start, she set up a Migrant Resource Center for OFWs in Naga City. It seeks to give a holistic approach to migrant workers.

The Center gives training and skills-jobs matching. They screen recruitment agencies to ensure valid and suitable work for future OFWs. Then they teach financial skills to family members of the OFW left at home. Lastly, they help in the reintegration of the returning OFWs. They are referred to local employers for placement.

Leni vows to copy this program nationally. Her past work and biography support her platform. She was a human rights lawyer working for the poor in far-flung areas. She embraced politics after her husband Jesse Robredo died in a plane crash in 2012. She represented Camarines Sur’s Third District in 2013-2016.

Leni Robredo plans to help OFWs

Increase the DFA Budget. This is Robredo’s short-term solution to address various OFW concerns. Increase in budget for DFA means more people to assist you. At present, there are places with many OFWs without consular offices. Others lack capable personnel to assist you in times of need.

Leni believes that OFWs like you are often underserved. Foreign posts lack legal and labor attaches. This means that the government is not able to help in your legal cases, among others.

Improve the economy. Robredo plans to create more jobs in the country. Not just any jobs but quality kind of work. You leave your family because of lack of opportunities. 

Leni said this should be the ultimate goal of the government. She witnessed the social cost of working abroad through the cases of OFWs she handled as a lawyer. Working abroad should be optional and not a necessity.

Create a single agency for OFWs. Leni plans to have a single agency to serve all your needs. The current set-up allows you to go from one place to another. She opines that not many of you know the services of the different government agencies.

The single agency will merge the functions of several agencies to prevent red tape and address your issues better.

Improve the repatriation program. Leni will create a program for long time OFWs who want to go back home. She sees the need for a good repatriation program to help you adjust in the country after working and living abroad.

She will make this a top priority. Many of you in the diaspora want to go home to your loved ones. The chances of getting a better life in the country should expand. Leni believes that helping you go home is the true measure of success.

These plans for OFWs like you are practical. The last election in the Philippines has given her the chance to make these things happen. Let us give Leni Robredo the support she needs.

› Leni Robredo

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