PGMA: Govt will not sit idly in protecting OFWs’ welfare

April 13, 2009 11:35 pm 

DUBAI, April 12 — President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo today (Sunday, April 12) reiterated that the government will not sit idly by and do nothing to protect the welfare of the country’s expatriate workers in the midst of the global economic crisis.

Addressing the participants of the first Employment and Business Opportunities: The Middle East Forum at the Renaissance Dubai Hotel here, President Arroyo said the Philippine government's payback time for the modern-day heroes was now.

“The heroic efforts of the OFWs will not go unreciprocated,” the President said, adding that a program of full reciprocity was being carried out to help OFWs in host countries that were now being buffeted by the economic crisis.

The President said the Department of Labor and Employment would lead the government’s payback program for the OFWs.

One of the components of the government’s full support for OFWs is helping returning OFWs find remunerative jobs.

The President said the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration was carrying out a marketing blitz to expand the market for expatriate workers, particularly those who wanted to cross over to other countries, or companies, that needed their skills and talents.

President Arroyo also said the government would conduct the licensure examinations of the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) in selected international locations, where large expatriate worker populations were present “so that they can prepare for higher paid and more secured employment.”

The President also took pride in the continued double-digit growth this year in the number of Filipino workers deployed abroad.

“The market for Filipino workers remains high and resilient,” she said.

While noting that there were some challenging spots, including Dubai, where some expatriates had lost their jobs, the President said that employment overseas remained steady with new jobs being created at the same time.

With the country’s expatriate workers becoming increasingly skilled and diversified in their fields, the President said bilateral discussions with other countries were expected to open up new employment opportunities abroad for Filipinos in a wide range of skilled sectors.

President Arroyo said that she and other government officials traveled to Dubai to promote the interest of Filipino expatriate workers.

The President also thanked the employers here for supporting the government in identifying employment and business opportunities amidst the global challenges. (PNA) RMA/OPS/rsm

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