Group urges PNoy, OWWA to provide assistance for OFWs kin affected by Pablo
MIGRANTS rights group Migrante-Middle Eat (M-ME) today urges President Benigno Simeon Aquino III to ask the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), the PH government premier OFW welfare agency, to implement a calamity assistance program that will provide aid to OFW families that were affected by typhoon Pablo.
“As per our monitoring, there were a number of OFW families badly affected by typhoon Pablo in Mindanao particularly in Cagayan Valley and Davao Oriental. There were OFWs kin died and their houses destroyed,” M-ME regional coordinator John Leonard Monterona, citing reports from Migrante local chapters in Davao City.
Monterona said, “PNoy administration should better utilize the OWWA fund believed to have reached P13-B in providing calamity assistance to its OFW-active members.”
Monterona cited that previously, there was a calamity assistance program by OWWA. But when the OWWA Omnibus Policy was implemented on 2004 by the anti-OFW Arroyo administration, the calamity assistance among other OWWA programs and services was abolished.
Monterona added the calamity assistance program must be activated and made available to OFWs dependents all year round and during calamity or as the need arises.
He suggested that a portion of the US$25 OFWs membership fee, let’s say US$5, should be allocated to calamity assistance and related relief programs to OFWs and their dependents.
“Perang galing sa OFWs, dapat ibalik sa OFWs at kanilang pamilya,” Monterona adding “huwag mapunta lang sa masasamang kamay ang pondo na para sa aming mga OFWs at pamilya.
Meanwhile, Monterona said Migrante chapters in the Middle East have reactivated its ‘Sagip Migrante’ fund drive aimed ‘to provide aid to OFWs kin affected by TS Pablo’.
‘Sagip Migrante’ was first launched by Migrante International as a response to calls for aid by OFWs to their kin in the Philippines devastated by deadly typhoons Ondoy, Pedring, and Sendong.
He urged fellow OFWs, the Filipino communities and OFWs organizations to start collecting their donations and course through to ‘Sagip Migrante’.
“Just like our previous ‘Sagip Migrante’ fund drive and relief operations, we will be providing report and will properly account the contributions from our fellow OFWs and their organizations,” Monterona assured.