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Duterte orders increase of OFW aid to over P1B

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By Genalyn Kabiling

President Duterte is allocating more than P1 billion for the assistance of overseas Filipino workers in the protection of their rights and welfare.

The President recognized the heroism and sacrifices of the OFWs in giving them a higher budget during his State of the Nation Address (SONA) before a joint session of Congress last Monday.

President Rodrigo Duterte, center, gestures watched by Senate President Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III, left, and Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez during his second state of the nation address at the House of Representatives in Quezon city, Monday July 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila / MANILA BULLETIN)

President Rodrigo Duterte, center, gestures watched by Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, left, and Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez during his second state of the nation address at the House of Representatives in Quezon city, Monday July 24, 2017.
(AP Photo/Aaron Favila / MANILA BULLETIN)

“They are our heroes. They and their families have sacrificed much to the — for the country. We all know how a large part of our economic — economy comes from their remittances,” Duterte said in his remarks.

“That is why to ensure that their rights are protected, I ordered the increase of our assistance to the OFW from P400 million to more than P1 billion,” he added.

The President assured that the government has been “hard at work” in securing the rights and welfare of the Filipinos working abroad.

The Department of Labor and Employment recently launched an identification card system to hasten the OFW access to government services. The OFW IDs also meant to replace the overseas employment certificate (OEC) at no cost to the workers.

At least 17 one-stop shops catering to the needs of the OFWs have also been established by the labor department. The facilities placed several government agencies under one roof to serve the OFWs.

An OFW bank is also in the works under the Duterte government.

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