By Leslie Ann Aquino
An official of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) Episcopal Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People believes one of the reasons why Filipino workers could not find work here was not because there are no jobs, rather they were not being prioritized.
“It is not true that there are no jobs here. It is because Filipinos are not prioritized. Our local jobs are being given to others,” Balanga Bishop Ruperto Santos said in a statement for the 33rd National Migrants Sunday celebration.
The prelate cited the 400,000 Alien Employment Permits (AEPs) and 180,000 Special Working Permits (SWPs) that the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Bureau of Immigration (BI), issued respectively as proof of this.
“This is why I believe there is no truth to the statement of some government officials that Filipino workers are not qualified for the jobs,” said Santos.
In his message, the prelate took the opportunity to laud overseas Filipino workers for being hardworking which is contrary to the belief of a government official who called Filipino workers lazy.
“There is no OFW that is lazy and idle. They always work hard. They work with all their heart, skills, and abilities. They learn easily. They follow orders well. They are open to criticisms,” said Santos.
He said OFWs are not only hardworking, they are helpful as well.
“Our OFWs not only help their families and relatives by sending their balikbayan boxes containing food, clothes, and other items. They are also helping our economy,” Santos said.
“And during times of calamities, our OFWs are one and help one another. Our modern day heroes are naturally helpful,” he added.