Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) appear to have been short-changed. It looks like a duck, sounds like a duck, so it must be a duck. Short-changed big-time.
Everybody knows that the Coronavirus disease caused many wars the government is trying to win: there’s this battle for the health of every Filipino and another for our economy. Further, as if things are not yet as worse as it can get, there’s the ever present struggle between and within business and employment. At present, the most glaring casualties are in the labor front led by our overseas Filipino workers who were displaced by the outbreak.
Leading the fight for our migrant workers is Department of Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello III, who, with orders from President Rodrigo Duterte, provides immediate assistance to the beleaguered OFWs. Bello mobilized DOLE resources including those from the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) with plans for OWWA to hire buses and food caterers to provide transportation and nourishment in the campaign.
But problem strikes at the height of the operation when bus drivers and other mission participants contracted by the agency claimed OWWA did not compensate them. That despite P800M in funds to finance the transport and food campaign. OWWA chief Hans Cacdac remained mum about the matter.
Meanwhile, Duterte and Bello are still banking on the strategy to help ease the burden of repatriated OFWs. It looks more like the generals have good plans but the lieutenants are not just too keen to go into battle.
With many Covid-free OFWs in the beginning, a number are now tested positive for Covid 19 and adds to OWWA’s apparent incompetence and negligence. Some did die even. That’s how OWWA spells welfare administration — so poor, so inadequate — with the very contributions of the neglected OFWs. (MTVN)