POEA-12, lawyers group offers free legal services to distressed OFWs

September 9, 2015 4:56 am 

COTABATO CITY, Sept. 8 — The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) in Region 12 and a lawyers' organization are offering free legal services to Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) from the region who need legal assistance.

On Tuesday, POEA-12 and the Lawyers Without Borders launched the program in Koronadal City dubbed as "Access to Justice for OFWs," according to Emerita Germo, POEA-12 regional director.

Germo explained that the program aims to help OFWs in distress here and in foreign land with the Lawyers Without Borders taking charge of legal assistance.

The first of such assistance in the region, Germo said OFWs who need legal services can avail of the Access to Justice for OFW program.

The legal assistance will cover issues about illegal recruitment, non-payment of wages of OFWs and all issues that need legal assistance.

Germo said OFWs in need of legal services or their relatives can visit the Access on Justice for OFW office at POEA-12 regional office, corner Rizal and Zulueta Street, Koronadal City.

"Ang tanggapan ng Access on Justice ay matatapuan sa POEA 12 Office sa Corner Rizal at Zulueta Street sa Koronadal City.

Present during the launching were Department of Labor and Employment 12 Regional Director Ofelia Domingo, OWWA 12 Regional Supervisor Marilou Sumalinog, National Labor Relations Commission 12 Fiscal Arbiter Pobleo Allera and Lawyers Beyond Borders Vice Chairman Atty. Noel Ben.

Ben explained the program aims to aid rising number of OFWs who have difficulty seeking legal assistance, especially those who were victimized by illegal recruiters.

According to Germo, the OFWs who need to avail of the legal services are advised to prepare all necessary documents so processing will be easier on their part and for the lawyers.

The program is only open to OFWs from Region 12 which is composed of the provinces of Sultan Kudarat, South Cotabato, North Cotabato, Saranggani and the cities of Cotabato, Kidapawan, Koronadal, Tacurong and Gen. Santos City.

She said the project will soon serve OFWs outside the region as long as no similar program exists in other POEA areas. (PNA)

LAP/NYP/EOF

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