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PH Senate approves new bill to help distressed OFWs

The Senate of the Philippines approved the Senate Bill No. 1819 or proposed Act Establishing The Office For Social Welfare Attaché on its third and final reading on Monday.

The said bill seeks the permanent deployment of social welfare attachés in Philippine embassies in countries with large numbers of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), reported Manila Bulletin.

The bill calls for all Philippine embassies to have social welfare attachés to manage cases of OFWs in distress and coordination with different agencies to ensure the psychosocial needs of distressed OFWs are addressed.

Senator Joel Villanueva, chair of the Senate committee on labor, employment and human resources development, authored Senate Bill No. 1819 following the reported suicide of two OFWs in Saudi Arabia and Lebanon.

He said that the passage of the bill in the Senate is an “important milestone” as it will protect over 10 million Filipinos in more than 170 countries from different forms of abuse.

“If there are permanent social welfare attachés in our Philippine foreign posts, we will address cases of abuses and maltreatment of our countrymen who are also battling sadness and homesickness just to secure their families and loved ones’ future here in the country,” Manila Bulletin quoted Villanueva as saying.

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