The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is seeking additional Php2 billion budget for their efforts to help overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
Labor secretary Silvestre Bello III said that the labor department requested for Php17 billion budget for next year. The Congress, however, only approved Php13 billion.
“I made an appeal for additional funding because we never know when we will need to repatriate our OFWs and we cannot always rely on the generosity of host country,” Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello said.
Bello explained that most of the budget given to DOLE is allotted to projects catering to the needs of OFWs, particularly on repatriation of those who were abused and victims of illegal recruitment back to the Philippines.
Citing the department’s data, 22,000 distressed OFWs from the Middle East have been repatriated since 2016.
Other services offered by the labor department to OFWs are financial and livelihood assistance and the establishment of one-stop-shops offering OFW-related services.