By Analou De Vera
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines-Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People (CBCP-ECMI) has welcomed President Duterte’s plan to create a department that will focus on addressing different concerns of overseas Filipino workers.
The announcement was made during the Araw ng Pasasalamat for OFWs at Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City Friday.
“We at CBCP-ECMI support and encourage the creation of OFW Department. With this, the welfare and well-being of our OFWs will specifically [be] attended,” said CBCP-ECMI chairman Bishop Ruperto Santos.
Santos made the remark after President Duterte on Friday said that he wanted the new department established by December this year with the government closely supervising the recruitment of Filipino workers for deployment overseas.
“It could be as if ‘one-stop-shop’ where our OFWs will never be asked to go/travel from one place to another, to see different persons from different offices. So it will be less tiring for our OFWs, personally taken care and individually protected for illegal activities and fixers,” said Santos.
With the establishment of the OFW Department, the Catholic prelate said that Filipino migrant workers will have a clear picture “who is personally responsible for them.”
“No more finger-pointing, anyone or those amiss of duties will specifically known and be prosecuted,” said Santos.
“We pray and hope that this OFW Department will be created soon,” he added.